In their first press conference since their dramatic rescue last week, the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach appeared before international journalists to recount their grueling experiences of being trapped inside the cave system for 18 days.

The Wild Boards soccer team had been trapped in the tunnel complex for 9 days before they were finally found by Navy SEALs. The boys say that they had been trying to use rocks to dig themselves out of the cave when they heard the divers approaching. Shocked by the appearance of the rescuers, they were even more surprised to hear a British diver speaking English, rather than Thai.

The Brit asked the team asked how many of them were present. Thankfully, one of the boys could speak English and he said there were thirteen of them in total. Relieved, the diver simply said “Brilliant.”

The Seals then kept the boys company for the following eight days it took for them all to be rescued. They ate together, slept together, and played checkers with the youngsters to keep them mentally stimulated. One Seal even spent his time in the cave wearing only his underwear and a piece of foil so the boys could use his clothes to keep warm.

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Even though they all exhibited clear devotion to their adult heroes, a boy said that one of the Seals was “like my dad”, says the The Guardian. On top of that, four of the youngsters – and the 25-year-old coach – say that they now want to be Navy Seals when they grow up.

The boys will also be training as novices in Buddhist monkhood as a means of honoring Saman Kunan, the Seal who passed away in the cave system during the rescue process. According to the news outlet, they will be dedicating their training merits to his memory, which is the highest honor in Buddhism.

The boys have been declared to be in good health, and they seemed in positive spirits during the press conference, although psychiatrists have advised them to be kept away from journalists for at least one month in order to ensure their full mental recovery.

(WATCH a portion of the interview below)

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