In late August, several players ranging in age from ten years to nineteen years travelled to Madrid, Spain along with supporters and Coaches Jake Doodnath, Leslie Fitzpatrick and Galvin Binda. While there, players trained under the guidance of Real Madrid Academy coaches; played three games; did some sightseeing in Madrid and the World Heritage City of Toledo; experienced the culture of Madrid and strengthened existing friendships as well as making new friends.
Players completed four training sessions at the spectacular Real Madrid City where Real Madrid teams train. They played three games against Cobeja C.F. in Cobeja, Movilla C.F. at the Spanish Football Federation and Vallecas C.F. in Vallecano. Our U13 team, still fighting remnants of jetlag and high temperatures dominated their first game although they lost their 3-2 . They then won the remaining two games 1-0 and 4-1. The older team was undefeated, winning 3-1 and 3-0 and drawing the final game 2-2. The coaches in Spain were very impressed by the superior technical and tactical ability of our players.
When not training or playing, players experienced the many sights and sounds of Madrid and Toledo. Of most importance to them were the tours of the Spanish Football Federation museum and of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, as well as attending the first Real Madrid match of the 2014-2015 La Liga season against Cordoba. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo duly obliged and scored a goal for them.
The players, coaches and supporters all enjoyed the trip immensely. Special thanks must be extended to the amazing guides/hosts (Pete Kelly, Diego Lozano and Guillermo Gallego) who took care of everyone and their needs. This trip has left many players and supporters wondering where the next trip will lead them.