WATCH: Individual experience

As a professional athlete, experience is everything. The more you have of it, the more tools and tricks you have under your belt.

Lessons learned from experiences like the Italy tour can last a lifetime, no matter how big or small the message might be and no matter how long you’ve played the game.

Midfielder Patrice Bernier, who played 10 years in Europe, has a lot of experience under his belt, but he is still willing to accept that there is always something to learn.

“Just playing against Serie A teams brings with it an opportunity to learn,” said the Brossard, Quebec native. “I’ve played Roma once before in my career, but playing first against Bologna and then against Fiorentina, you see how structured they are. Italian soccer is all about tactics and you can learn a lot from watching and playing against them.”

For fellow midfielder Collen Warner, he relishes any chance to play in Europe.

“Anytime I can come overseas and experience soccer is great. It’s a measuring stick. You want to see how you measure up against the talent here and how you’ve grown as a player. You get to see players with a lot of experience at the highest level,” said Warner, who spent some time in England to train prior to the start of the 2012 season.

Frenchman Hassoun Camara sees the experience as an opportunity to improve collectively as a group.

“This gives us a chance to see what path we will have to take to get to a higher level,” says Camara. “We could use that as motivation for the next couple of months to bring some qualities we get from Europe.”