Saline Soccer Visit to Brecon

July 12 - 21, 2004

Eighteen young Saline soccer players, aged 16-18, traveled to Brecon  to play the second game for the Saline-Brecon Youth Soccer Cup. The Saline players included Christian Althaus, Jay Birko, Chris Blevins, Cole Boerema, Jon Douglas, Jeff Ichesco, Nick Mekas, David Mirabella, Mark Morsfield, Drew Patterson, Tyler Patterson, Mike Reid, Jeff Stall, J.D. Cooper, Kevin Stires, James Strasburg, Michael Tubbs, and Dan Wilcox. Led By Coach Bill Theiss and four parents, the team also played a game in London against a good Dulwich team to warm up for the Brecon rematch. The Brecon boys were apparently still smarting from their 2003 3-2 loss in Saline and claimed the cup for Brecon with a hard fought 3-1 victory. The cup now resides in Brecon until the next rematch. The Saline boys stayed with host families from the Brecon area and several toured the Big Pit, a traditional Welsh coal mine, and attended the Royal Agricultural Show before returning home. The friendships among these young men were rekindled form the visit last year some lasting relationships were again developed. Some of the Brecon players returned to Saline in August and many on both sides of the ocean are planning even more visits. In the meantime, planning is reportedly already underway for the third game for the Saline-Brecon Youth Soccer Cup.

Touring London . . .
includes the "Beefeater" guard . . . 
and a "dungeon" visit.
The teams take the field in Brecon for the big game.
The rules of the "pitch" from Brecon coach Les Mellor
The Saline-Brecon Youth Soccer Cup is presented to Brecon Captain Ceri Bowley
who proudly accepts !
A final picture of both squads
Saline player Kevin Stires accepts a ceremonial soccer ball at an emotional  farewell party at the "Black Cock" Pub.
Salininan Bob Boerema says "Goodbye" to the Cup while Brecon assistant coach Peter Drew says a fond "Hello".
At the Royal Agricultural Show, the boys had a chance encounter with Prince Charles. The Prince engaged the boys in conversation and was genuinely interested in their visit and the Saline relationship with Brecon. One of the boys snapped this photo during the conversation.

Previous Page: 2003 A Warm Welcome in Brecon