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Football Tour to Spain

Over the Easter holidays 30 students and four members of staff went to Spain for a Football Development Tour. We took two boys teams (U13s and U14s) and one girls team (U14s). This trip was inspiring, fun and an experience of a lifetime. Our tour consisted of the following…
Day 1 – Thursday 12th April
Our journey began leaving school at 10:30am making our way to Bristol Airport. We then caught our flight to Madrid and checked in to our hotel after a full day of travelling. We then enjoyed one of the many fantastic meals provided at the hotel throughout our stay. A good nights sleep was vital in preparation for a busy day which followed so lights were out and everyone enjoyed a solid nights sleep.
Day 2 – Friday 13th April
​The excitement was evident at breakfast amongst the students as we had an inspiring day ahead. We had two training sessions at the Real Madrid training complex – Valdebebas, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The training sessions were delivered by two Real Madrid football coaches, who both delivered engaging sessions. The facilities were outstanding and what a privilege to be training on such superb facilities. In the evening, our two boys teams and girls team had a friendly against local Spanish opposition. The games were competitive and it was evident to see that the Spanish players enjoy passing and keeping the ball, a playing culture that is ingrained in the players from a young age.
Day 3 – Saturday 14th April 
After a busy day on Friday we had a more chilled day on the Saturday. In the morning we had a mini football tournament amongst ourselves with the ‘orange bin bags’ team winning the overall tournament. We then went to the Madrid Retiro Park and enjoyed walking around the Park and taking in some of the scenery, this was followed by some ice cream in the glorious Spanish weather. In the evening, we went to the Ten Pin Bowling with the view to crown the Madrid 2018 Bowling Champion, this turned out to be Tyler Dayus who was a joint point scorer with our very own Mr M Westren. Tyler was presented with a trophy by Mr Westren and was announced as the winner.
Day 4 – Sunday 15th April
This was the best day of the trip! In the morning we went for our stadium tour at Real Madrid, the Bernabeau Stadium. This stadium was an experience the players will never forget as some of the best footballers in the World have played here, some of which include…Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo, Christiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Sergio Ramos and many more. We got to see the history of the club and all their success in the many trophy rooms available, we went pitch side and sat in the dug out seats, we also got to see the home and away dressing rooms followed by a walk down the players tunnel. The tour finished with visit to the official club shop. A truly amazing experience and a brief flavour of what it feels like to be a professional footballer.
In the afternoon we went to watch a La Liga league game – Athletico Madrid vs Levante. Athletico Madrid are pushing Barcelona for the title and Levante are fighting to avoid relegation so this game was expected to be a competitive game. The stadium blew us all away as it is a brand new state of the art stadium, the ‘Wanda Metropolitano’. Not only did we get to see the game but we also had VIP and box seats which was an enjoyable experience to say the least. The students had an unlimited supply of soft drinks, pop corn and all the hot food available they could wish for, all totally free of charge. To say this was taken advantage of is an understatement! The game finished 3-0 to Athletico Madrid with goals coming from Correa, Griezmann, Torres. The atmosphere was electric and an experience the group will never forget. To view highlights of this game visit – www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_4qEqdsCjU&feature=onebox
Day 5 – Monday 16th April
On our final day of the trip we went back to the Real Madrid training complex, Valdebebas, for our final morning and afternoon training sessions. The day finished with a brief visit to the Madrid City Centre for a bite to eat before heading to the Madrid Airport for our flight home to Bristol. We all arrived safely back at school at 03:15am in the early hours on Tuesday morning.
The trip was an exceptional experience, not just the football which was of course brilliant, but all the other cultural and social benefits of going to another country was strongly felt by the whole group. The students were a credit to themselves and fully embraced the Spanish language and were encouraged to speak Spanish whilst in Spain, this was really appreciated by the local people. Thanks to Miss Tripp for running some Spanish lessons before we departed which really helped. Also, a huge thank to Mr Westren and Mr N Eddy for their contribution on the tour.
We have been to Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid…NOT MANY CAN SAY THAT!
Report by Kevin Lawrence