Easter saw MJFC take its first ever steps into Europe. Footballers, representing our Under 9’s, 10’s and 11’s embarked on what could justifiably be billed as ‘a trip of a lifetime’ to Madrid.
Arriving early in Madrid the footballers were soon being put through their paces at Valdebebas, the training facilities of the current European Champions, Real Madrid, under the dutiful eye of Real’s Academy Coaches. This was shortly followed by a tour of The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, one of the most iconic Football Stadiums in the world, which truly lived up to its billing. And that was just Day 1.
Day 2, at more of a sedate pace, the footballers and parents were given free time to explore the city of Madrid before an afternoon pick up to take the footballers to SeFutbol, the home of Spanish Football. Here the MJFC Coaches put on a self-conducted training session for the footballers, followed by a tour of the National Football Museum.
With the footballers now fully acclimatised Day 3 gave them their first opportunity to play against European opposition, with all three teams playing against Rayo Alcobendas. In three very closely contested games, the footballers were a great endorsement of MJFC and the playing identity we have.
Before being given the opportunity to get over the excitement of the morning’s fixtures, we were whisked into Madrid to take in the atmosphere of the Madrid derby; Real v’s Altetico at the Bernabeu. A large number of the group were fortunate to get tickets to watch one of the biggest derby’s in world football. Others, without tickets, watched the game in one of the surrounding bars. The game lived up to its billing with a Griezmann equaliser cancelling out an earlier Ronaldo strike. That evening a number of the group went out to a local tapas bar for a few drinks while their footballers set up an impromptu International against the local children that was played out on the local square. A really fitting end to a magical day.
The pace of the trip did not abate on Day 4. The footballers were taken in the morning to Atletico’s training facilities for a session provided by Atletico’s Academy Coaching staff. From the moment we arrived the footballers were treated like La Liga stars of the future. With a short break for free time and sightseeing around Madrid, the footballers then played in their second fixtures, with all three teams playing against CD Triveman Madrid in an evening fixture. With the benchmark already set, the three teams again gave a fine account of themselves in some keenly contested fixtures.
Day 5 was an early start with an early morning flight back to Manchester and time to take breath.
An unbelievable trip…Rumour has it MJFC Tour Part 2 is already in planning.
For all the photo's go to the video/photos section and click on Madrid 2018