Brecon Youth Soccer Visit

Brecon Town FC defeats  Ann Arbor Arsenal, 3-2

July 2, 2003 was a VERY HOT day for the first game of the visit with temperatures above 90F. The Brecon boys took on a tough team of select players from the Ann Arbor Arsenal Soccer Club. The Brecon team fell behind early as Arsenal scored less than 10 minutes into the game. Brecon came back with a goal by Danno Field but the Ann Arbor boys matched it and the Arsenal led 2-1 at the half. In a tough game, the Brecon boys seemed to get their wind back in the second half. They tied it up on a beautiful cross from Rhys Thomas to Danno Field who scored a header to the far post to tie the game at 2-2. Jake Carey scored the winning goal at 79 minutes with a 15 yard shot to claim the 3-2 victory for Brecon. Here is the report in the Ann Arbor newspaper and some game photos:

A friendly game of soccer - and more

Welsh team's visit filled with games, fun

Thursday, July 3, 2003

News Sports Reporter

Some Welsh lads had a friendly in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

The Brecon (Wales) Boys Soccer Club matched up with the Under-16 Ann Arbor Arsenal travel squad at World Wide Sports Center in the first of three international "friendlies" planned for the team's 12-day trip to Washtenaw County

The trip was organized by the Saline-Brecon Friendship Guild, which develops programs between the sister cities. It is also part of Celtic Week in Saline, which leads up to the city's Celtic Festival on July 12. "This is a great bunch of boys that are very excited to be here," said Linda Duvall, president of the guild.

The 16-member team and four coaches are staying in the homes of Saline soccer families. They'll also play a team from Pioneer High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday at World Wide Sports Center, and against a team from Saline High School at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Henne Field in Saline.

The guild has organized many international trips for groups ranging from choirs to gymnastics teams in its 38-year history, but this is the first time local soccer teams have played on the same pitch.

There's more to the trip than soccer, however.

"It's about the experience of meeting new people and experiencing a new culture," Brecon coach Kim coach Kim Bowley said. "The kids saved hard to come out here. It's been brilliant so far."

The group arrived in Saline late Monday night and has already made a wildly successful trip to play laser tag. Also on the itinerary is a trip to Cedar Point, a water park and several other social functions.

Peter Drew, a coach and parent traveling with the Brecon team, said the players are ready for a little rest and relaxation.

"There's nothing educational or socially redeeming planned," Duvall said. "We're just going to have some fun."

That's fine for the players.

"We take (soccer) very serious, but I think we're more into the social bit," said 16-year-old Charlie Bullock, a player on the Brecon team.

Brecon's opponents get plenty out of the experience, as well.

"Playing against an international team - getting to hear how they talk and seeing how they move - was a tremendous experience for our players," Arsenal coach Thomas Olivier said.

The Arsenal, comprised mainly of Washtenaw County players, led Brecon 2-1 at halftime but lost 3-2 when the Welsh squad scored a game-winning goal in the 79th minute.

Rich Rezler can be reached at

  2003 Ann Arbor News. Used with permission

Some of the boys said this is what they saw when they looked over at the sideline after the Arsenal scored early in the game:

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