In early April 2023, a group of enthusiastic teachers embarked on our first-ever WorldStrides Soccer Teacher Training Trip to the United Kingdom. Our group were immersed in the heart of British soccer culture on this 6-day adventure, soaking up knowledge from soccer professionals and coaches, participating in educational activities and learning firsthand what our students experience on a trip with WorldStrides. Read the full day-by-day itinerary here and video to learn about our groups’ adventures across the UK.
Julie Dolan is the Head of Marketing from Central Coast Sports College, and a former Matilda, and joined the group on our Training Trip around the UK. Julie shares her thoughts on the fifth day of activities visiting Fulham FC, Chelsea FC and watching the Matildas vs. Lionesses heart stopping game.
Day 5 – Matildas v England
by Julie Dolan
“Another sensational morning weather-wise as we all assembled to board the bus; the itinerary for the day once again packed, incorporating a tour of Fulham FC, Chelsea and onto the Matildas vs. England game later in the afternoon. I waited on the bus, pen ready to note the names of any latecomers who would receive a fine for tardiness, but it didn’t really matter at this stage of the trip, as nobody was going to be able to catch up to George, in terms of fines amassed!
First stop Fulham Football Club, London’s oldest professional football club, having been established in 1879. Our guide was fantastic and very welcoming, a characteristic the club is known for. Heading into the stadium area, what was immediately noticeable was an old two-storey cottage (Craven Cottage) in one corner of the grounds, surrounded by modern stadium structures. It was built to accommodate change rooms (apparently not included due to an oversight in the original planning) and also used by the player’s families and friends who sat on the balcony to watch games. The club now sell those seats at a premium rate, such is the building’s historical significance. It is a beautiful cottage and I really admired the club’s resolve in ensuring that it is/has been retained.
Next stop Stamford Bridge stadium, where an image of Sam Kerr, two storeys high, adorns one of the walls outside the stadium. With Chelsea FC Megastore located right next to the stadium, it was then time for a bit of retail therapy (for some). What was really inspiring to us Aussies though were the posters of Sam Kerr, plastered all over the store walls, advertising various merchandise. A global superstar, and nowhere else is this more obvious than at Stamford Bridge.
A quick refresh back at the hotel before heading to the Matildas vs. England match. As we got on the bus, the weather turned, for the first time on the entire trip, Raining when we arrived in Brentford, we ducked into a small pub prior to the game. Filled with English supporters, and with the Lionesses on a 30-game winning streak, the locals were confident that their girls would come away with the win. In true Aussie spirit though, our (heavily outnumbered) group suggested otherwise and there was some reasonably robust discussion that followed.
Into the stadium, we settled in for the game. Having seen the Matildas lose to Scotland the week prior to this game, I wasn’t confident in predicting a win for our girls and when the match began, it was obvious the English team were a very cohesive unit, a great team across the park. Our girls stayed in the game however until momentum swung a bit when Sam Kerr banged home a great goal. In the stands, where we were once again heavily outnumbered, our celebration of the goal brought the house down. I think the locals were a bit stunned. The second goal from Charli Grant was sensational and had us all out of our seats again. 2-0 win to the Matildas to end the home team’s 30-game winning streak – what a night to cap off a great day on a trip that was made very special because of the people I was able to share it with.”
Head this way and learn all about our final day of the trip in London…
WorldStrides offers FREE Teacher Training Trips when you book your first tour with us. You will have the opportunity to meet other teachers who love to travel, get insider tips from the WorldStrides team and hear from a veteran teacher on leading student tours. From experiencing on-tour logistics first-hand to learning about our robust safety and security measures, you’ll come away with a greater understanding of what to expect on your tour. If you’d like to know more about our free training trips, please complete this form, or call 1800 331 050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org