Northfleet Academy Spanish Tour 2017

Posted by on Jul 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

In July 2017 BTM Basketball organised a tour for Northfleet Technology College Basketball Academy team and a year 10 team. Head Coach Martin Parry, Coach Miguel Cuesta and Team Manager Vicky Parry took 16 players for 6 days with the objectives of team building, player development and gaining foreign competition experience.

Northfleet Madrid Tour 2017

Day 1
After flying out early from Gatwick airport we arrived at the hotel and enjoyed some lunch in the sun, before heading to the Tres Cantos La Luz 3-court sports arena for a light shoot around and acclimatization. Temperatures in Madrid can soar well into the 30s in the Summer and this is one of the many challenges our tours offer.


Day 2
The morning of Day 2 saw us join the Gigantes Camp, one of the largest camps in Spain. The players experienced coaching from many senior Spanish coaches and practiced alongside local Spanish players. The morning was topped off with a visit from Laia Palau, the Spanish Women’s National team captain, who gave an insight into her experiences at many European championships and the Olympics. The popularity of the women’s game in Spain is huge with almost as many women’s and girl’s teams as men’s in many of the clubs.

Northfleet Gigantes Camp

After the morning’s coaching clinics, the teams got the chance to relax at the local outdoor swimming pool, and then prepare for the first games of the tour in the evening.

Northfleet game prep

Game 1 started well for the Academy team, who were playing a Tres Cantos select team that included a former high-level EABL player who is from the Spanish suburb. The Year 10 team started a bit more sluggishly against the Tres Cantos 2003 born team, but got going to stand at 20-26 at the half. The Academy team continued to battle hard against a strong Tres Cantos team but having trailed at the half 26-34, they started to feel the impact of the hot conditions and finished 44-66. The Year 10s continued to fight on, going down 47-61. The teams took a lot of positives against good opposition and also had some areas to improve on.

Northfleet Madrid Tour Game 1

Day 3
Our Madrid day started with a tour of Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium. The tour begins at the highest point of the stadium and winds its way through an incredible multimedia and trophy display zone to the pitch side where the boys delighted in sitting in the dugouts, before visiting the press and changing rooms. The boys loved the Real Madrid shop at the end of the tour where a sale made some boys very happy buyers.

Northfleet at the Bernabeu

We then continued into the Madrid City centre for some sightseeing and shopping, and a lunch stop at the “All you can eat” buffet, always popular with boys teams. From there we ended up at Retiro Park, the Madrid equivalent of New York’s Central Park, where everyone enjoyed the sunshine and boating on the lake.

Northfleet boating at Retiro Park

In the evening after eating at a top Burger restaurant in Tres Cantos the players came across some of the basketball team members from the previous evening, who were out with some friends. Some fun chat and photos ensued. Tres Cantos is a friendly location and the hospitality they showed us was fantastic.

Northfleet meeting the locals

Day 4
The morning began with team training at another 3 court gym near to the hotel. The coaches were able to work on some team tactics and some of the things they learned from the first games.

Northfleet Team Training

During lunch at the pool the fantastic weather we’d been having was rudely interrupted by a flash rain storm, where the heavens really came down hard. However 45 mins later, after lunch was done, the sun was out again and the boys could enjoy their afternoon fun at the pool.

Northfleet Madrid Tour Game 2

The players were all looking forward to Game 2, and the Academy team again started strong against a powerful Tres Cantos Select, whilst the Year 10’s faced a big challenge against a talented 2002 Tres Cantos team. Half-time scores had the Academy team down 25-34 and the Year 10’s down 15-33. The second half saw a great performance from the Year 10s who won the half 32-29, taking a lot of positives from their play. The Academy team was fighting all the way but ending up going down 47-72 to some quality Spanish shooting.

Day 5
The penultimate day of the tour saw a return to the Gigantes Camp in the morning for skill development with some foreign coaches, including the visiting Barking Abbey WBBL legend Diana Naydenova-Goryanova. The boys were all very positive, if a little tired, and Coach Parry continued to be impressed by the player development opportunities that the Gigantes camp offered.

Northfleet Gigantes

After one last afternoon relaxing at the pool, the boys readied themselves for the final set of games. The Year 10’s started very strong leading 23-20 after the first, and the Academy team had the better of the first quarter, despite trailing 10-14. The Year 10’s continued to play well, leading 41-33 at the half, and 57-54 at the end of the 3rd. Shots weren’t dropping for the Academy team, but they continued to compete despite training 19-30 at the half and 34-44 at the end of the 3rd. In these games both teams showed the development the tour had given them, as the Academy team rallied to 5 down with 2 mins to go, before eventually slipping to a 43-52 defeat. Tres Cantos had to throw everything they had at the Year 10s, who despite battling bravely went down 63-71.

Northfleet Academy Madrid 2017 Tour Photo

The team development against quality Spanish opposition is one of the key areas we hope to see from visiting tour teams, as they battle to adapt to the heat, the Spanish style of play and bond and grow as a team. The Northfleet teams certainly did this and they can take a huge amount of pride and confidence from that.

Day 6

Before our afternoon flight on the final day we were fortunate enough to have some time to take in the Gigantes 3v3 tournament, featuring many teams from different age groups. It was great to see the different talent levels at different age groups, from the 8 and 9 year old’s through to the seniors that competed in this tournament.

Northfleet Tour Finale

This rounded off what was a fantastic experience for the Northfleet teams, where the players grew as a team, had many opportunities to learn from coaching camps and games, and had great fun along the way.