CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College athletic department and head women's soccer coach Brian Purcell would like to invite everyone to follow along with the women's soccer team as they travel through Scotland, Wales and England. Every four years, the team travels abroad for a few friendly games as well as sight seeing. Coach Purcell took groups in 2001, 2005, 2009 and most recently in 2013.
The group will fly out of Philadelphia on Thursday, May 18. The nine-day trip will be highlighted with trips to Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, Shrewsbury, North Wales, Oxford, Snowdonia National Park, and London.
Among other exciting things, the group will tour historic castles and towns, play three friendly games against local clubs, and experience a game from the Scottish Premier League. Check back to gobluehose.com in order to see pictures and read updates on the group's progress.
Day Nine: On the way out of the UK the team stopped by Windsor Castle. It was a final chance to get a few touristy pictures before heading to Heathrow. Before catching the flight back to the USA, a small group was dropped off as they headed towards other destinations. The main group enjoyed a much larger plane for the direct flight back to Charlotte. The plane landed safely around 6 pm. We greatly appreciate everyone following along!
Day Eight: We spent the morning exploring the oldest parts of London. The bus let us off right at the Tower of London. From there, groups ventured to sites like the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, the Museum of Natural History, and Saint Paul's Cathedral. Of course, there was time for shopping at various stores and walking around at Harrods. The night ended with a large group enjoying the popular musical Wicked. Our final day starts early with a stop at Windor Castle on the way to the airport.
Day Seven: We experienced bad traffic today due to increased security around London. However, the team was still able to see Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Hyde Park and other sites in London's West End before traveling back to High Wycombe to play the Wycombe Lady Wanders. Tomorrow will allow for more siteseeing in the oldest parts of London. Highlights from the previous two days can be viewed here.
Day Six: The team was allowed to sleep in after back-to-back games and a late arrival back to Shrewsbury on Tuesday. The long busride to High Wycombe was broken up with a stop in Oxford for lunch and siteseeing. Tonight's entertainment will be centered around watching the Europa League Final between Manchester United and Ajax at the hotel after dinner.
Day Five: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by the events in Manchester. We have been a couple of hours away from that area at all times. Today was a long day spent touring North Wales. The team rode through Snowdonia National Park and toured Conwy Castle before battling to a 2-2 draw against Llandudno FC. Highlights from Tuesday can be viewed here. Tomorrow we relocate to our last hotel in High Wycombe.
Day Four: The team had a free morning to roam around Shrewsbury before tourning the nearby Powis Castle in Wales. In the evening, the team earned a 4-0 victory against Llanfair Caereinion in their first friendly match of the trip. Their second game will be on Tuesady at 8:00 pm local time (3:00 pm EST). Highlights from Monday can be viewed here.
Day Three: The team visited George Square in Glasgow before watching Celtic FC defeat Hearts of Midlothian FC and complete an undefeated season in the Scottish Premier League. A long bus ride then took the team south to Shrewsbury on the border of England/Wales. View video here. Our first friendly game will be played tomorrow (Monday) at 6:30 pm local time (1:30 pm EST).
Day Two: The team enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before traveling to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Players, coaches and parents toured the Castle before venturing to the nearby Old Town and Royal Mile. Due to rain the team did not climb Arthur's Seat but instead went to Calton Hill.
Players atop Calton Hill
Day One: After a red-eye flight out of Philadephia, the team arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, at 7:05 am. The excitment began immediately, and the team traveled by bus to see the majestic Loch Lomond - Scotland's largest lake. Everyone then had some free time in Stirling to eat lunch, walk around, tour the castle and see the Wallace (Braveheart) Monument. The team arrived at their hotel in Glasgow around 3 pm. After a kick-around, they had dinner at the hotel and found some much needed sleep. (see video here)