The weekend from 23rd to 25th January we hosted a football trial (soccer tryout) in Novigrad, Croatia in cooperation with a football agent and Fieldoo user, Sanel Konjević. It was a chance for players from all over the world to play in matches against professional opposition, get evaluated by professional coaching staff and noticed by agents and clubs that were invited to attend the matches.
We recently introduced a new feature for our users – verification. It’s where Fieldoo establishes a new level of trust by verifying a user who previously provided needed documents and info. Sanel was one of the first users who we’ve verified as we’ve consulted him a couple of times before for his football expertise. Verifying trials goes with the main purpose of Fieldoo – to offer opportunities on a legit and scammer-free football platform.
Among applicants, 22 were selected to go to Croatia. They came from 15 different countries including Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, USA, UK, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Malta, Montenegro and Switzerland so it was a very international entourage.
We arrived on a brisk evening, checked in hotels and went straight to the first training. We were stated a walking distance from the seaside so it could get pretty windy. The coaching staff started the training while Sanel and another agent were steadily watching from the sidelines. The warm-up was rather intense and players accustomed to the temperature quickly. Since next day was matchday the session didn’t last long as they were soon separated in two teams where their assignment was at first to keep the ball while goalkeepers were getting ready to step between the posts. At the end players on both teams were assigned their positions and they played a short training match. Later we got to know how much can coaches truly learn about the players available from a short session like this one as we’ve chatted into the night but that’s a whole other blog.
After training we’ve returned to the hotel for dinner, followed by a team meeting in the conference room where Sanel went through the schedule of the weekend and held some individual talks with the players.
The match was at 1 pm so players were instructed to get a late breakfast to avoid being too full. The opponent was a local team Novigrad, currently leading in the Croatian third division. FieldooXI started off well as they were in the lead in the 20th minute with a great looping header by Anže Pešl. The hosts were stunned as Fieldoo players gained even more focus. Soon we were two up as a lovely half-volley by Armands Petersons left their keeper dumbfounded. The hosts then got out of the shock and lowered the score to 2:1 for the half-time whistle. At the half-time substitutions were made on both sides and the hosts fielded a stronger team. They quickly got back in the game as they equalized and then went on a bit of a rampage to pay back for the shock given in the first half as they’ve put another 3 past our keeper. Match ended in 5:2 for Novigrad and some of the players felt a bit down. The coaching staff weren’t too disappointed as they’ve learned quite a lot about the players they had available and were more confident for tomorrow’s rematch. After dinner, players had individual talks with Sanel about their performance and plans for the future.
Kick-off was again at 1 pm and it was even warmer than the day before. Both teams started off well and it looked like we’ll be watching a tight affair and right we were. Both teams had a few chances but nothing too threatening for the keepers. Novigrad grabbed the lead through a set-piece which wasn’t too surprising as set-pieces weren’t a priority and need a lot of time and training to perfect. Teams went into halftime with 1:0 for the hosts and again a lot of substitutions were made and Fieldoo XI also altered their formation slightly. The hosts had trialists of their own so the second half was sloppier with a rare chance here and there. In the dying minutes of the match Novigrad managed to squeeze a goal and it ended with 2:0. A satisfying showing of our users who in the words of our coaching staff “showed great tactical awareness and positional sense” as they were able to adapt to the new instructions and formations. After the match players checked out of the hotel, had the last team lunch and the Fieldoo Trial was officially concluded.
While most of the players went on their way and would hear about their performance after the fact, a few of the players stayed as there were already clubs who were satisfied with what they saw and were interested in their services. Two players joined winter preparations of clubs from Slovenian and Bosnian Top Divisions respectively. Two players have joined in training with a team from Slovenian Second Division as they’re having a closer look in their qualities while another pair of players have signed with an agent who will help them with their career.
Boris Tatar: “Everything was at the highest level from the accommodation to the pitch and the opponents. I’m very satisfied and overall happy to be a part of this project which offers us players the best chances for individual progress and further development in our careers. I’m also very happy with the fact that there were many agents and club representatives in attendance and were able to see what we can do.”
Anthony Giles: “I was very happy with how the trial was set up. Sanel was a big help throughout the whole experience and I enjoyed meeting everyone involved.”
Todor Todorov: “I’ve met lot of good guys, I improved my English and I now know what to do if I’m selected in future trials.”
Enter the football trial in USA: 23-25 February 2015
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