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March 2017

Annual Report 2004

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Tulis Boys Take Slovakia by Storm!

This past spring, the RTESSE U-15 boys did a two week tour of Slovakia, Roman's homeland, where they participated in the Tatra Cup International Tournament and the Nitra Cup International Tournament. The boys met up with some very strong competition from Russia, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, and Slovakia (just to name a few) and managed to come home with first and second place trophies, tournament MVP and Best Goal Scorer awards.

The group started off in the High Tatras (Roman's hometown) where Roman and the team received the royal treatment. Roman found himself somewhat of a celebrity being interviewed by local radio stations and having the team and himself asked as special guests of the mayor to visit the city hall. The High Tatras also found the boys up against 12 teams representing 7 different countries at the Tatra Cup International Tournament where they came away with the first place trophy and Tulis' Marcus Haber was awarded the top goal scorer in the tournament.

The boy's first game of the Tatra Cup, up against a Russian team found them on the winning side of a 3-2 final score and on the bad side of the Russian coach. The Tulis team was behind 2-0 after the first half but with enormous effort and teamwork, they stormed back in the second and managed to pull off a very crucial win.

The Russian coach apparently didn't take the loss very well and was at quite a loss himself as to how he'd explain a defeat to a Canadian team! Later that same day, the boys met a local team (Dubnica) and played to a scoreless draw. The game was decided on penalty kicks with Tulis Canada winning 3-2.

This put the Canadian group in first place in their group of three. They went on to beat another Slovakian team, Humenne 1-0 in the quarter finals, and later that day, in the semi finals, they met Dubnica once more and at the end of regulation time were tied 1-1. The Tulis boys once again beat them in penalty kicks; the final out come was a 3-2 score. The final game for the first place title was against Zilina (a Slovakian Championship team) in which the Tulis team triumphed 3-1.

After a few days break, the boys moved on to the Nitra Cup International Tournament where they competed against four other teams in a straight round-robin format.

Their first competition was against the eventual winner, Nitra, and although the result was a loss, the Tulis boys gave them quite a game. Nitra scored their third goal in the 40th minute to make it a 3-0 game and that was all the Tulis boys would take. The game turned around in the 44th minute when Tulis Canada scored and just three minutes later, they scored again. Suddenly, the Canadians were within one goal. However, despite a great effort, the game ended in the boys' one and only loss of the trip.

Next they played FC Vitkovice, a team from the Czech Republic, and won 2-1 and then Venglos Academy from Slovakia which ended in a 1-1 draw. The final game was against Premier Club Raba ETO Gyor, a team from Hungary. This was a must win for the Canadians as a win would push them through to second place and a loss would mean a fourth place finish. Tulis Canada opened the scoring in the 19th minute and then scored twice again in the second half and won 3-0 and captured the second place trophy. Tulis' Marcus Haber was named MVP of the tournament.

The tour finished off with a special award ceremony hosted by the Slovakian Soccer Association in which Roman was awarded a Slovak National team #10 jersey (with R. Tulis on the back) in recognition of his accomplishments and for representing Slovakia abroad.

Tulis Players In The News: Kent O'Connor Inks deal with 1860 Munich

Roman Tulis' 2004 School Boy award winner, Kent O'Connor is a great example of how far hard work, dedication, and sacrifice can take a player. O' Connor's dream of playing soccer in Europe became a reality this year when he clinched a 2 year deal with Germany's 1860 Munich U-19 team.

O'Connor began playing soccer at the ripe old age of 6 and joined with the Tulis Soccer School when he was 10 years old. There he spent the next seven years honing his skills. He was never the fastest player on the field, nor was he the one who "danced on the ball" attracting everyone's eye, but from day one he did have something that a lot of other players lack - dedication.

Never one to give up or quit, Kent took the advice of his coaches and constantly strived to improve his game. If that meant more hours on the field, he did it. If it meant early nights when he could have been out with friends, he did it. If it meant an athlete's diet vs. a "teenagers" diet, he did it. "My life revolved around school, playing community soccer, and watching Soccer Saturday on TV," says O'Connor. "I couldn't wait for Soccer Saturday to come around because it showed some of the best players and best teams in Europe." He never wavered from his goal, and his work ethic and his sacrifice paid off.

As a young teen, O'Connor played with the North Shore Metro boy's team, and when he was 15, he moved up to play with the Surrey United U-21 squad. His first trip to Europe was with the Tulis School in 2000. He competed in the International tour of Holland and Belgium where the U-13 Tulis boys came home with first place honours. "Kent was a good player at that time, but his main assets were more on the strong and physical side of the game," says Roman. "He struck me most as a strong, hard working player."

O'Connor joined the Tulis squad in Europe once again 2001 when his U-14 team placed 6th in the Invitational Tournament in Portugal and came home with the Fair Play Award. Once again, Kent wasn't the star player on the team, but his hard work and never-give-up attitude always won him a starting position. "Kent would come home from each and every tournament determined to become a better player." says Tulis. In 2003, his hard work finally paid off. He joined the U-16 Tulis squad at the highly competitive tournament in Maarseen, Netherlands. The boys brought home the third place cup and came away with a 1-0 victory over both Ajax Amsterdam and England's Luton Town, and they beat PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands 2-0.

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"It was Kent's best tournament ever," says Tulis. "He was really the leader of the team. His technical game was improving very quickly and coupled with the mental strength he always had, he was becoming a very good player. I could see right then a bright future for him in soccer."

O'Connor hasn't looked back since. Last July he was named to Canada's U-17 National team for a three game exhibition tournament in Minnesota against U.S. and Mexican national sides. In October of 2004, he tried out with Germany's FC Freiburg U-19 team. He was offered a spot on the team, but he would have to wait in Vancouver for the next six months before he could start training with them. A lifetime for an athlete! Not one to sit idle, Kent moved on to tryout with 1860 Munich, and his session with FC Freiburg gave him the experience and the confidence to perform at his very best with their U-19 squad. "I played with (1860) for a week," says O'Connor. "Then they asked me to stay on for an extra week. And things just continued from there." He was signed to a 2 year contract shortly after his second trial week. "Kent made a very good impression during his trial," says Ernest Tanner, director of 1860's youth teams. "His main assets are that he's a naturally left-footed player and has been coached very well by Roman Tulis. There are not many good left-footed players in German youth soccer. We see Kent playing the left fullback position with us and he has a very good chance of being a starter."

O'Connor will have to combine his rigorous soccer training schedule with his academic studies to complete his high school education. "I'm taking correspondence courses in Munich," he says. "My studies include a German language course, which I thought I might need. It comes in handy in everyday life, but it's not really needed all that much on the soccer field. My team-mates are more interested in how I play than what I say!"

Local Players Shine in Great Britain

Two Tulis teams, the 1991 & 1992 boys, returned in August to Canada from St. Andrew's, Scotland, and Aberystwyth, Wales with two first place wins, one second place win, and a continued reputation for excellence playing soccer overseas.

The St. Andrews International Football Festival took place on the grounds of St. Andrews University in Scotland from July 18th - 23, 2004. The tournament drew select teams from around the world as well as select local squads, including Scottish Premier League Dundee United's youth development team.

The Tulis 1991 team won second place in their division, losing a hard fought final match against Dundee United 3-1. "It was good to be able to make it into the final, especially against a club like Dundee," said Michael Ainge, who was the 1991 team manager. "They bring their children in from a very young age and keep them in the organization until they're professional age." The 1992's went on to take their division trophy with a 2-1 win over a physically tough Hutchinson Vale team in the final. The Hutchinson Vale team, who had just recently captured the 1st place title for their age group in the Scottish Cup Tournament, had met with the Tulis team in the first round of play and had also come away on the short end of a very hard fought 2-1 game. "They were a fantastic team," says Tulis. "This was a huge victory for my '92 boys!"

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In exhibition play, the 1992 team played an exciting game against the Dundee United squad and held them to an incredible nil-nil draw, and the 1991's beat Dundee United 1-0. The 1992 squad also met up with Dundee FC and came away with a 2-0 victory.

The boys then travelled to the west coast of Wales to participate in the very well known Wales International Soccer / Ian Rush Trophy Tournament where back in 1998 Tulis' U-16 and U-13 boys came away with 1st Place trophies and a Tournament MVP award, U-16 Best Goal-Scorer Award, and the U-13 MVP Award. This year's tournament brought showcase teams from North America, Fiji, Scotland, Wales, England, Norway and Australia.

The boys then travelled to the west coast of Wales to participate in the very well known Wales International Soccer / Ian Rush Trophy Tournament where back in 1998 Tulis' U-16 and U-13 boys came away with 1st Place trophies and a Tournament MVP award, U-16 Best Goal-Scorer Award, and the U-13 MVP Award. This year's tournament brought showcase teams from North America, Fiji, Scotland, Wales, England, Norway and Australia.

Between them, the two teams played a total of 30 games in 12 days with an overall record of 20 wins, 6 losses, and 4 ties. "These kids all play for different leagues around the (Lower Mainland), but having lived together for two weeks, they gelled quite well," said Ainge.

"The competition was very intense and it was nice to see the Canadian teams go over there, handle themselves, and beat the top teams out there." Ainge goes on to say that, "(The boys) really came up a level playing against these teams.

They had to play under pressure with not a lot of time to think - they all really came up a notch! It was beneficial for them to play over there. It helps them grow not just as players, but also as people, and they get to interact with each other at a very high level."

Commitment, Passion & Dedication Equals Results
Tulis Player Updates - Awards & Accomplishments

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The School Boy/Girl Award is presented yearly to RTESSE players who are dedicated, hard working, and committed to the game of soccer. They must have leadership skills, success with his/her own team, be a positive role model for younger members of the school, be an all round success as a player, and have that special quality that will take them the distance should they wish to pursue a career in soccer.

Congratulations to our 2004 School Boy/Girl Award winners Kent O'Connor, Alexander Marrello and Paige Adams and to all of our players for continuing to be "The Best That (They) Can Be". Special mention also goes out to players who are currently training with youth teams in Europe: Kent O'Connor (1860 Munich, Germany); Gianluca Zavarise and Tony Dall'Antonia (Montebelluna, Italy); and Canadian National Team members: Paige Adams (U-19), Allexander Marrello (U17), and Marcus Haber (U-16)

Copyright © by European Soccer School of Excellence - World Class Soccer Program - Roman Tulis - Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2005-11-15 (8239 reads)

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