St. Paul's School enjoyed an amazing "pre-season" trip to Florida in January, organised by the ISFA Travel Partner Complete Sports Solutions. Two St. Paul's teams enjoyed three fixtures.
St. Paul's Head of Football, Luke Warriner, is glowing in his praise of the facilities at IMG and the experience that his boys enjoyed: "The serious US approach to sport, world leading facilities, opportunity to train in close proximity to Eintracht Frankfurt,a professional Bundesliga team and familiar style of play of opposition made this trip perfect preparation for the Season ahead.
Numerous pupils and parents have fed back to me that it was the best school trip they have ever been on. These trips are very busy and we try to cram in a lot, aiming to bring back tired but not exhausted players who have improved at football and developed a bit as young adults. The Tampa area made it straightforward to give the boys some rest while taking part in some low risk group activities: crazy golf, bowling, beach and shopping. They also had sport theory sessions on leadership, problem-solving, reaction testing and mental toughness. While not academically challenging these sessions were a useful exercise in giving the boys experience of US sporting culture and making them think about their approach on the field.
It takes a lot to wow Paulines but IMG Academy did the trick; the campus is vast and all of the facilities are world class. The hotel was brand new and immaculate and served healthy food - exactly what the boys needed to recover. The pitches have such good drainage that after torrential rain all morning we played in the afternoon and it was as if the pitch had been lightly watered pre-kickoff. The staff at IMG are very professional, indeed the coaching was better than we had in Barcelona last year. They also provided us with a rep who made it straightforward to adapt the itinerary day to day. We were lucky enough to share the facility with Eintracht Frankfurt and it was a real privilege for our boys to witness professionals training and going about their daily routine at such close quarters.
Without doubt the best school trip I have ever run".