Your Questions Answered

Here are brief answers to the most commonly asked questions.


Will my son/daughter play enough football at Gothia Cup?

In general, parents worry that the players will not play enough before the tournament and then once they are in Gothenburg parents tend to worry that the players are playing too much! We take sensible sized squads and ensure playing minutes are even at the end of the group stages, however we can’t always plan for injuries, illness etc.

The tournament can consist of up to three matches a day in warm weather and clearly some players will be fitter then others and so we do not insist that our coaches keep even playing minutes in the knock-outs.  Clearly the further the team progresses the more football the team will play.


What is the itinerary for the week? – Click here for an Example Itinerary

Unlike a tour where you have an agreed plan before the trip, our itinerary is completely decided by the match draw and which matches the teams win and lose.

We expect the teams to have at least one group match on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the knock-outs to start on Thursday morning with up to three matches a day.

We will have a better idea of our programme when the draw is announced by the Gothia Cup, in late June, but even then things might change depending on the weather, match results and if the boys are tired or the coach feels they need an extra training session! Generally players will get free time after they have played their final match each day.

When are the matches?

Teams play group stages Monday to Wednesday and then knock-out matches Thursday and Friday with the final on Saturday.

When will they play their last match? 

The knock out matches usually start on Thursday morning. The final is likely to be on Friday or Saturday. All of this is subject to the match schedule.

When do we know the match schedule?

The draw is made late-June and will be published on the Gothia Cup website. It will also be available on the Gothia Cup App.


I forgot to order a GHIC Card and we don’t have a EHIC.

In this case the Team Leader would contact you if the player needs medical attention/to visit the hospital. You may need to apply for an Emergency Card or pay for treatment. He can still travel with the team but all costs for medical attention will need to be paid by the parents if the player does not have a EHIC or GHIC.

Will parents get a list of what players need to take and details of where they are staying?

Yes, everything will be published on this website in plenty of time before the tournament. Dan Abraham has been taking teams to the Gothia Cup for 20 years and will ensure parents have all the information they need. You can find the packing list here.

Who do I contact if I need to get hold of a player or their coach?

Your coaches phone numbers will be in the Parents WhatsApp group created shortly before the trip. If you need to speak to your son/daughter and can’t get hold of them on their phone then ring the coach. In the case of emergencies or if you cannot get hold of the coach, the emergency phone number’s can be found here.

Do players have to look after their own money?

All money taken to the tournament is done so at the players/parents risk and neither the Coaches nor the Club will take responsibility for money that is lost or stolen. However, the coaches will offer to look after money for the players as long as it’s in an envelope with the players’ name on it. However, do remember that we recommend a pre-paid card as the main funds for players. Gothenburg is almost cash-less. Fairfx and GoHenry offer Under 18’s card option’s for spending abroad.

How many a-side are the games?

The age groups Boys/ Girls 11’s and Boys/ Girls 12’s are 7-a-side, the Boys/ Girls 13’s games at 9-a-side and the older age groups are 11-a-side.

Are our teams ranked in ability? 

No, although we may keep some A squad players together as part of the process.  Teams are put together using various criteria including which players played together last year, A squad players, which Training Camp players are attending and players’ playing positions.  A great deal of time is spent putting together each team. Each team is then randomly given a team colour and each player randomly allocated their squad number.

Do you select a team in each age group made up of the best players?

No we don’t.  Firstly, we don’t know the players well enough to do this, secondly we prioritise putting together those that have played at Gothia Cup together in previous years. We want all the players to have a great time. All the players were selected at the trial and while inevitably some teams will turn out to be stronger than others, our intention is to give every team a chance to progress in the tournament.

My son wants to take his iphone, ipod or ipad. Is this a good idea?

We strongly suggest not taking any expensive valuables. Whilst we have never had a security issue at the School, players do leave/forget things and taking valuable items is not recommended. All players should bring a mobile phone, but we don’t recommend bringing the latest model! Players will not be allowed to use their phone overnight.

Do I need to tell you about medical and dietary requirements?

Parents should have already provided this information on the Registration Form at the start of the season. If anything has changed, please let jess know on [email protected]). Otherwise, we’ll have passed the medical information onto the coaches and any relevant dietary information onto the catering staff at Gothia Cup.

What do we do with medication?

Please keep this in it’s original packaging and put a sticker on the front with the players’ name.  Coaches’ can’t carry the medication through security, but please show it to the coaches at drop off and they will collect it in once in Gothenburg. If you prefer the player to self-medicate just let the coach know. If the player requires an EpiPen then two EpiPens’ should be brought on the trip, one for the coach to carry and one for the player to carry.

My son/daughter is anxious about the trip. Any suggestions?

This is quite normal. It’s an exciting trip but there are lots of unknowns for players and parents!  Do just consider if it’s the parents or the players who are anxious! We sometimes find children are worried but it’s more common to find that it’s really the parents! Parents do need to be careful not to put pressure on their children to be worried or homesick. Some parents can create an expectation on the players to be worried or homesick. If parents have any concerns they can get in touch with us.  We have a lot of experience and will be pleased to help.

If it is the children who are anxious then try to understand exactly what is worrying them. They will often be looking at a ‘worst case’ scenario and worrying about things which they don’t need to worry about. If there is clarity about specifically what is worrying them then we or their parents can reassure the player and come up with a solution together.

I’m worried my son/daughter will get homesick. Any tips? 

We do understand that being away from home can be very difficult for some players. Our coaches have a lot of experience of how to deal with homesick players, but some players do still get upset.

Back and forth messages and phone calls usually makes things much worse for everyone. Evenings can be particularly difficult when players are tired.

Click here for our guide to homesickness.


Parents’ Trip

We always recommend waiting until we have booked fights and confirmed drop off times before parents wishing to attend book their trip.

How many parents will attend the tournament?

It is impossible to predict, but we’d expect around 70% of parents to attend at some point of the tournament. Some parents choose to only attend for a couple of days whilst other parents will attend for the whole week. The players will be fully supervised so parents do not need to attend although of course they are very welcome to come and support the teams.

I want to support for a couple of days. Which days should I attend?

An impossible question without knowing the results of matches! In general we’d recommend the start of the week as you will see games, should get some free time with the players and you will see the Opening Ceremony on Monday evening. Arriving on Sunday evening and staying until Wednesday afternoon is usually a popular trip that works well, but don’t blame us if you decide that you just can’t leave!

How do parents book to attend?

Parents can book accommodation and flights themselves or can book with the England Supporters Hotels. Parents that book into an England Supporters Hotel will receive complimentary Gothia Cup Cards and Opening Ceremony tickets in the England section. If you book your hotel through a different way, you can buy your tickets from World Youth Tournaments here.

How will I know when I can spend time with the players while I’m in Gothenburg?

After every game, the Team Leader will have a meeting with the parents. During this meeting, they will update parents and explain the itinerary leading up to the next match. This will include details of any free time the players will have and when and where they can be collected. We can’t pre-plan this as it might depend on factors such as how tired the players are feeling and match results. Players will usually get free time after matches with parents.

I am flying out on Saturday/ Sunday, when can I see my child?

You will be able to see them after the team’s first match on Monday. Players do not see their parents over the first weekend as they will be training and bonding as a team.

Do I need tickets for the matches?

No, the matches are free to attend, but you will need a ticket for the Opening Ceremony. See above for details on ordering tickets.

Which hotel should I book for myself?

Our recommendation is to book near to Central Station or Heden Centre. We would recommend the Official England Supporters Hotels.

I’m not going to Sweden, how can I find out the scores?

We would strongly recommend all parents download the Gothia Cup App. This will provide live coverage of goals and goalscorers for each match. Alternatively, the results are available at



My son/daughter is not flying with the team. How do we know when to drop them off with the team?

Once the team flights have been booked we’ll confirm details of drop-off times by email.

Non-flyer drop off times can be seen on the players Team page – found by typing their name into the search bar at the top of this website!

My son/daughter is flying home with me, when can I collect them? 

Please liaise with their Team Leader in Gothenburg to arrange a suitable pick up time. Players can be picked up after their last match, the timing of which will depend how far they progress in the tournament. It could be anytime from Thursday morning to Saturday.

When will their first and last match be?

Unlike a tour where you have an agreed plan before the trip, our itinerary is completely decided by the match draw and which matches the teams win and lose.  We expect the teams to have their first match on Monday.  The knock-outs start (usually) on Thursday morning with up to three matches a day. The finals are on Friday evening or Saturday.

Players flying with the team

Why are most flights not direct?

In recent years BA and Norwegian Airlines have offered direct flights. However, BA have released very few group seats this year and Norwegian Airlines have cancelled their routes into Gothenburg. Therefore, we have had to seek other routes to get everyone into Gothenburg.

Why are some flights not to Gothenburg?

Rather than getting a connecting flight, we’ve arranged bus transfers from airports which are within driving distance of Gothenburg. This means players don’t have to wait in airports for connecting flights therefore reducing the travel time to Gothenburg. It also reduces the chances of bags going missing – an all too common problem when changing planes or missing connecting flights. We want a trouble free and as short a journey as possible so in some instances we’ve hired luxury coaches for the final leg of the journey.

Should the players fly with the team or parents to Gothenburg?

We recommend flying with the team. The journey itself is important for getting to know the other players in the team and being with the team from the start of the trip means the players won’t miss any important training sessions.  It also means parents can fly out later which is more suitable for them.

Why do you offer for players to fly with their parents?

It can save some money for parents, or parents may not be  arriving from the UK or returning to the UK after the tournament. We would advise travelling with the team if possible.

Why is the cost of the player’s flight sometimes higher than the price I can find on the internet?

Although ticket conditions do vary between airlines, usually the tickets which are sold on the internet are not suitable for booking groups. Instead we have to purchase group tickets, which have different terms and conditions. These are priced differently and are usually more expensive compared to tickets which can be bought by individuals on discount travel websites. Our ticket price is also an average of all the tickets booked and the cost takes into account added luggage for the players, airport transfers and administration fees. Often our tickets appear more expensive when they are booked but as you get closer to the tournament they end up cheaper than those available online.

My son/daughter is flying out with the squad. When will be my first chance to see them?

The first chance for parents to see the players will be after their match on Monday. You can find out the venue and details for this match from the Heden Centre information desk or on the Gothia Cup app. Players will not be given free time with parents over the first weekend as they will be very busy getting to know each other, training and preparing for the tournament.

My son/daughter’s flight back to England is on Friday. Aren’t the Finals on Saturday?

The return flights are in heavy demand and given a choice between flying back on Friday or waiting until Monday or Tuesday the following week, we have decided to get teams back to England on the Friday. The earliest the teams can be knocked out is on Wednesday (although that’s very rare as usually knock out matches start on Thursday) so we do not want to risk the possibility of players waiting 5/6 days for a flight home.

If a team reaches the final on the Saturday it will be a good problem to have to solve!

Can I book a one way ticket on the team flight?

No, the airline group booking terms don’t allow this. You either book a return trip and not use the return leg (note you can’t use the inbound journey if you have not used the outbound leg) or you will need to make your own arrangements for your player’s flight.

Do we have to make our own way to the airport in UK? 

Yes, the squad will meet at the airport. Due to the geographical spread of players, we do not offer a pick up service.

Where do we pick up the players after the tournament?

Players should be collected in the arrivals hall. The collection time is posted on the team’s squad page and on the flight page on this website.


The teams stay in schools. Why don’t they stay in a hotel?

Staying in a School works very well and is excellent preparation for the players. Each team will stay in a classroom so players will need to bring blow-up air mattress, a sleeping bag and pillow. The school accommodation offers many benefits including:

  1. The price – hotels are extremely expensive during the Gothia Cup especially when booking a large group.
  2. Players become separated when in different hotel rooms and don’t bond as a team
  3. The schools provides access to a canteen, training facilities, common room areas which are ideal.
  4. Meals can be served in the canteen at the school whereas in a hotel the players would need to be dining in restaurants or McDonalds each evening.
  5. The school has security whereas a hotel creates a number of supervisory and child protection issues for staff.
  6. In a hotel, it is hard to supervise issues such as players watching TV in their rooms late at night.
  7. Corridors are open areas and players can be disturbed at night by other guests.
  8. Hotels do not provide facilities for holding team meetings, discussions and talks which are an important part of our education programme and preparation for matches whereas at the School we can use classrooms.
  9. We create a fantastic ‘Team Lions’ feel to the School and players get to meet and make new friends from other teams.

Where is the school accommodation?

The schools we use are allocated by the Gothia Cup. Once this has been confirmed, likely June, this will be updated to your players squad page.

Locations we have used previously are Samskolan, Skarskolan and Kvibergskolan.

Our Boys 15’s and Boys 16’s squads will be staying in a hotel in the city centre, again the location of this can be found on their squad page.



My son/daughter is not in a team with their best friend. Can he/she change teams?

We know being away from home can be daunting for both players and parents, but we do not actively encourage players to be in the same team as their friends. The programme at the pre-Gothia Training Camps is designed to help players integrate and make new friends.

We expect players to recognise that this is a representative team and being willing to meet and mix with new people is part of our set-up. At the Training Camps we do some activities jointly across several teams, so players do get a chance to see friends in other teams and at the Gothia Cup, our teams stay in the same school so players from different teams can mix in the evenings.

We do not expect ‘cliques’ to appear in our teams and hope players will be willing to integrate and make new friends which is part of their development as an individual as well as a footballer.


What is the ‘A’ Squad?

These are the top 16 players in each age group. They play matches in the UK in the Spring term. The A Squad players are also given priority on places for the trip to Gothenburg and the Training Camp but they are not given priority of minutes at the Gothia Cup.

What does the Development Squad do?

Development squad players will join A squad players born in the same calendar year to form teams for the Gothia cup. All players get the opportunity to meet at our Training Camp and compete in the most prestigious youth football tournament in the world, meeting and playing against players from different cultures and backgrounds. An amazing experience both on and off the pitch.

Do ‘A’ Squad players get priority on minutes at Gothia Cup?

The A squad do not get priority on minutes. All players are treated equally and we will ensure everyone has had equal minutes at least by the end of the Group stage.


My son/daughter can’t attend the recommended Camp. Can they attend the other one?

Absolutely! That’s why we run camps over different dates. They’ll end up knowing even more people than everyone else once they get to Gothia! The coaching is based on developing individual skills so there is no need to worry about missing out on team-coaching, we’ll do this in Gothenburg on the weekend before the Gothia Cup starts.

I am worried my son/daughter will get homesick. Any ideas to help?

We do understand that being away from home can be very difficult for some players. Our coaches have a lot of experience of how to deal with homesick players, but some players do still get upset. Sometimes homesickness can be made worse by well meaning parents. We always recommend not using texts as a way of communicating and clearly agreeing set times when players can call you.  We strongly recommend once in the morning before breakfast and once around 8pm before bedtime.  Back and forth messages and phone calls usually makes things much worse for everyone. Evenings can be particularly difficult when players are tired, so parents should be very clear that players can only call them once in the  evenings but assure them that you will be available in the morning to answer their call. This gives them something to look forward to but makes it absolutely clear that they need to get on with the Camp in the meantime. If there is an emergency the coaches have your number, so there is no need to keep answering the phone or sending text messages.

I am worried my son/daughter will wet the bed. 

Do ensure to let Jess or Dan know in good time so a mattress protector can be fitted onto their bed at the Camp.


How many players were selected at the trial? It varies between age groups but on average 54% (52% in 2016, 50% in 2017).  This ensures our squads are of a high level and players will benefit from playing with other talented players.

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