Last year at our annual awards event we recognized the player from each phase that truly embodies all that it means to be a Hotspurs player both on and off the field. Kataira Rhodes is just that player — dedicated, responsible, hardworking, a great teammate, respectful, motivated. Recognized as the club player of the year for the girls youth development phase, Kataira received an invite to the FC Barcelona camp in Pittsburgh this past summer.
While at the camp, Kataira, a member of our 2005G White team, thrived on how organized and formal of an approach it was, as well as the variety of activities that differed from her Hotspurs training. The FC Barcelona coaches too quickly recognized what we see in Kataira and offered her a spot to come train in Spain this fall as a part of their camp ID process.
After some quick initiative from her Dad to see this opportunity not passed by, Kataira and her dad Larry set out for Spain for a week-long camp at the end of September.
Here’s more from Kataira on her experience:
The Overall Experience
When I was chosen to go to Barcelona, I was quite nervous. However, when I first got there, I was put on a team with girls from all over the country and we bonded quickly.
Within just the first two days, I had a good relationship with all of the girls on my team. Coming from different parts of the country, I didn’t know how my teammates were taught to play soccer. But when we played together, it worked out well.
Training And Playing
The training was similar to how we play here. They were really teaching us the Barcelona way. We competed in four Friendlies against four different Spanish youth teams. Their speed of play was fast, and they play possession-style soccer.
My advice for any soccer players who would like to play out of the country is to stay focused and work hard. Always take the opportunity to go out of the country to play soccer. Make sure you give 100%.
We did a lot of exciting things on this trip. We took two city tours, had a beach session, got ice cream with our chaperones, and went to the RCD Espanol game.
But my favorite of all was the Barcelona professional men’s game. Other than all the soccer I’ve done, the city is beautiful, the food was delicious, and getting to see another culture was very interesting!