The coaches got to train the senior team, known as FC Bali Rush, several times and also preside over 2 friendly matches. In the first, the team split in half for a Colorado versus New York encounter, with the NY team winning 1-0 on a first half penalty kick. With the win, the NY team won the inaugural Bali Cup. The next week, the team played against a local team from the 2nd division and handled them easily 3-0 to continue their great run of form in the preseason.
|FC Bali Rush First 11 versus Makin||FC Bali Rush First 11 - Colorado|
The youth program consists of a boys and a girls side, and initially there were 20 girls and 45 boys participating. With players ranging in age from 8-20, this program was the only of its kind in Bali. Once the word spread that coaches from the United States were helping, the program grew significantly. By the last training session, 35 girls and over 80 boys were participating. In the first annual FC Bali Rush Small Sided Tournament, the coaches team representing Bayern Munich prevailed in penalties over the champions from the youth division representing Arsenal. After a heart-breaking defeat to Inter Milan in group play, the coaches bounced back to claim the title.
|Coaches Alex Mendolia and Ben Medina with the youth boys of FC Bali Rush||The youth girls do a Rush cheer after their training session|
In addition to all of the soccer outreach, the coaches also got to participate in several local traditions, including church services, funeral celebrations, and even a meeting with the Fon, the chief of the local tribe in Bali. While all of the experiences were life changing, the overwhelming feeling that will always remain with the coaches is that of the kindness and hospitality of the people of Bali and of Cameroon. Led by their chaperone, driver and friend Masala Simon and Coach Julius Kampalla of FC Bali Rush, the coaches were treated like members of the community, the club, and most importantly, members of the great family of Bali.
|Coach Kampalla, Coach Mendolia, Gabriel Tita (FC Bali Rush Senior Player), Nelson (FC Bali Rush Senior Player), Coach Lux||Youth players showing off the soccer balls and equipment donated through REACH|
The 26 days spent in Africa went by far too quickly, and all four of the coaches are looking forward to when they can go back and help FC Bali Rush continue to strive to the next level. As they say in the local tribal language of Mungaka, the coaches could like to say “Njika njamo” (thank you very much) to all the people of Bali and of Cameroon!
The coaches are working on some daily recaps that will be available soon so check back often!
|Coaches hanging at the hotel||NY Coaches Alex Mendolia and Cara Nelson with Coach Kampalla||Our biggest fan! Fongod Peter from the Belleview Resort in Bali|
Senior goalkeepers training
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