Young King’s Lynn footballers visit the home of La Liga giants Real Madrid, the Santiago Bernabeu

Youngsters from King's Lynn Community Football's Elite programme during their trip. Youngsters from King's Lynn Community Football's Elite programme during their trip.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
2:45 AM

Thirty-seven footballers, who form the Kings Lynn Elite and The College of West Anglia Elite football programme’s under-15s, 16s, and 18s squads, had an experience of a lifetime when they visited Madrid for the organisations’ latest European tour.

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The four-day trip included watching Athletico Madrid beat Valladolid 3-0, a stadium tour of the Vincente Calderon (Athletico Madrid) and the Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid), two academy training sessions with Spanish giants Real Madrid at The Ciudad (Real Madrid City) and two fixtures for each squad against Spanish opposition.

Tour leader Dan Buhlemann was impressed with the players’ attitude and application during the tour: “People would assume taking 37 boys aged 15-18 away for four days would be a nightmare, but in fact it was a pleasure.

“The four days were filled with activities from start to finish and the boys had to make sure spare time was used to rest and recover. Our base for the weekend was the La Ciudad del Futbol, the Spanish National Football Centre. We stayed in the same rooms and ate in the same dining area as Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and other national players, it was fantastic.

“The tour was another great success and, because of the activities and facilities we had, the best one yet. We are now preparing for 2015 where we will be looking to visit German champions Bayern Munich.”

COWA’s Tommy Goode, programme manager for sport, added: “The Madrid experience is something that will live with our students for the rest of their lives.

“They were treated like top-class professionals and received training from arguably the best footballing organisations in the world at present. Students have returned inspired and even more determined to develop and progress.”

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