Sardinia

Former football ace Tony Gale reveals his favourite club

He may have won the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995, but Tony Gale has admitted that his heart belongs to London.

Speaking at launch of the 2017 Campioni Kids Football Academy at Chia Laguna Resort, earlier this week, the West Ham and Fulham legend revealed: 

“When Blackburn won the Premier League it was great, but I was only there for one season so you don’t have the same affinity you have or somewhere you spend 10 years.”

 “I was at Fulham from 11 years of age until I left at 24, and I got into the team aged 16.  I was then at West Ham for 10 years so they’ve got to be my two favourite clubs.”

Gayle started his senior career at Fulham, where he scored 19 goals in seven seasons from 1977-1984 -  an impressive showing for a defender. He then spent 10 years with West Ham from 1984-1994, making over 300 appearances for the Irons, before winning the league in his single season with Blackburn. He also played for Crystal Palace and Maidenhead United.

 The former defender, who was controversially sent off in an FA Cup semi-final, hasn’t slowed down since hanging up his boots back in 1998. Gayle is now a regular pundit on Sky Sports, chairman of non-league club Walton Casuals and has also found time to co-found Campioni Football Academy.

The academy will run week long soccer programmes at Chia Laguna Resort in Sardinia this summer, offering children aged 6-15 the chance to brush up their ball skills in the sun under the guidance of Campioni coaches including Andy Cole (the Premier League’s third highest ever scorer), Tottenham ace Darren Anderton and current Everton star, Yannick Bolasie.
 

“In the evening, these guys are going to be are going to around with their families - they’re approachable and they’ll talk to you. These are proper guys, proper footballers and you’ll be able to mix with them, ask them questions and enjoy the family atmosphere,” enthused Gayle.

“Throw in this spectacular resort and you can’t beat it. If I was choosing a holiday, this would be it.”

 

 

It’s all kicking off in Sardinia this summer

Award winning Chia Laguna Resort to launch week long soccer academies run by leading ex and current Premier League players


Family travel isn’t child’s play. Chances are parents want to stretch out on a sun-lounger, book in one hand and cocktail in the other, while all their football crazy kids want to do is kick a ball around.

Sound familiar? It’s time to choose a destination that has something for everyone and, this summer, Chia Laguna Resort looks set to fulfil the needs of both big and little kids.

The Italian Hospitality Collection’s luxurious five star resort in Sardinia has come up with the perfect remedy for frazzled parents looking to keep energetic children occupied and entertained throughout the May half term and summer holiday: soccer academies.

The resort - compromising four 'family friendly' hotels and private villas in the south of the island - will welcome the Campioni Football Academy during summer 2017, offering children aged 6-15 the chance to join leading ex and current Premier players and brush up their ball skills.

Speaking to World Travel Awards at the launch of the 2017 Campioni Kids Football Academy at Chia Laguna Resort, which took place at Home House (https://homehouse.co.uk/ ) in London last night, co-founder and Sky sports pundit,Tony Gale, said:

“We’re basically offering a lot of fun in the sun for the whole family, at a beautiful resort. If I was going on holiday, this is would I what I pick - it’s just one of those special holidays.”

Gale continued: “Parents can relax while their kids can improve their technical skills as well as their physical and mental game, with footballing greats like Andy Cole, Tony Cottee, Darren Anderton and Yannick Bolasie.”



“And guess what? In the evening, the guys are around with their families - they’re approachable and they’ll talk to you. These are proper guys, proper footballers and you’ll be able to mix with them, ask them questions and enjoy the family atmosphere. And that’s what it is all about.”

The former West Ham and Fulham legend certainly wasn’t shy about showing his enthusiasm for The Campioni Soccer Academy and Chia Laguna Resort, but wasn’t quite so forthcoming when asked by World Travel Awards about the football club he had a soft spot for.

“I mustn't answer that,” laughed Gale. “When I am with my Fulham friends, it’s Fulham. When I am with my West Ham friends, it’s West Ham. And then I was at Blackburn when they won the Premier League as well so… but if I am honest it’s where you started. I was at Fulham from 11 years of age until I left at 24 and I got into the team aged 16.  I was then at West Ham for 10 years so they’ve got to be my two favourite clubs.”

“Blackburn was one season and when we won the Premier League it was great, but I was only there for a single season so you don’t have the same affinity you have or somewhere you spend 10 years.”

The Campioni Football Academy with English Premier League Footballers at Chia Laguna runs from 27 May to 3 June and 1 July to 4 August 2017 and is available at a cost of €550 per child per week which includes a personalised training kit and bag. Contact bookings@campionio.co for more information

Postcard from Beijing... no 21

CNN food article has left a bad taste in my mouth


CNN recently published an article that claimed to reveal the world’s most disgusting foods. Top of the list? China’s century eggs – so called because they have been consumed for thousands of years by the Chinese as an appetiser, in addition to acting as an ingredient in any number of dishes.

I get that these little black eggs that have been preserved in clay for months on end may not be everyone’s dish du jour but, are they really as offensive as CNN’s iReporter, Danny Holwerda, would have us believe? Holwerda, in case you haven’t seen the article, described century eggs “as awful” before going on to say that they taste “like something that used to be an egg, but made some horrible choices”. I can’t help thinking that Holwerda is guilty of hyperbole, as well as wondering whether Holwerda and I actually ate the same item?

But it’s not just China’s century eggs that have come in for criticism at the hands of the CNN team. A whole host of other Asian countries and foods have also been singled out.  Rounding out CNN’s list of the ‘world’s most disgusting foods’ were tamilok (Philippines), fermented chips (Indonesia), dog meat and offal (South Korea), fried tarantula (Cambodia), stir-fried cicadas (Thailand) and fried frog (the poor old Philippines again).

Yet while CNN (an American media channel) finds the aforementioned unpalatable, in their respective countries these dishes aren’t considered weird, bizarre or downright obscure at all. Rather they  are treasured as delicacies! All of which goes to show that one region’s food heaven is another’s food hell – a fact CNN would have done well to remember.  After all, America isn’t exactly innocent when it comes to crimes against food. Case in point? My Yankee friends are fond of filling up on a ‘treat’ (I use the word loosely) that they call peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Translation? Two hunks of refined white bread liberally slathered in strawberry jam and peanut butter before being pieced together to make an unusual (and for me unsatisfying) snack. My American mates might think this creation tastes great but, to my British palette, their creation does a grave disservice to three otherwise perfectly good, if humble, ingredients.

I would have liked to have seen some unusual items from other parts of the planet make CNN’s so called list of the world’s most disgusting foods. Why weren’t Mexico’s escamoles (eggs of the large, black, venomous Liometopum ant) included? Or Casu Marzu (a cheese consumed in Sardinia that contains thousands of, I kid you not, maggots)? Then there’s Norway’s offending lutefisk – codfish which has been soaked in lye (a substance said to be so corrosive that it can disintegrate silver utensils) for two days solid. And what of Alaska? Forget the Philippines: Alaska has two dishes that, in my mind, are much more offensive than fried frog and tamilok (woodworm). Step forward fermented salmon heads – the heads of King salmon that have been buried in the ground, left alone for a few weeks and then harvested for our, erm delectation – and jellied moose nose. The latter is something I’ll refrain from describing for fear you’ll lose your appetite.

At the end of the day, every country has both weird and wonderful cuisine in equal measure. The only real way to discover what, for you, is food paradise and what is food purgatory is to pick up a pair of chopsticks, an explorative palette and a passion for the unusual and unexpected – and get ready to chi fan!