Experiencing the Footballer Life
Twenty-five players from the Junior Football Squad and Development teams met at 01:15 on the morning of Saturday 8 April, excited despite the early hour for the first ever junior football tour to Spain. This was an absolutely incredible opportunity for every player, exposed as they were to a multitude of experiences, most of which can only be described as ‘once in a lifetime’. These were just some of the highlights of the tour that took in two of the world’s footballing capitals, Madrid and Barcelona:
- Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu with 100,000 other people.
- Training at Ciudad Real Madrid, Real Madrid’s own training complex with a coach who works with U19s and first team players.
- Tour of the Santiago Bernabeu including the dressing rooms, dugout and Real Madrid MegaStore.
- 5-a-side tournament at the Spanish FA’s training complex.
- Matches against local Madrid club teams.
- High speed train journey to Barcelona.
- Visit to Port Aventura Theme Park.
- Travelling on RCD Espanyol’s actual team bus.
- Matches against local Barcelona club teams.
- Tour of the Camp Nou including the dugout, media room and Barcelona MegaStore.
Wherever our players went, they were complimented on their behaviour and attitude. They fully deserve the recognition for this, along with the perseverance and application shown against very talented Spanish opposition. Many learning curves were experienced and many memories were created that will last for years to come.
Thanks must go to Mr Maye and Mr Dales for their constant supervision and support, and even bigger thanks for Mr Holness who organised and planned the trip as well.