Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Footballers in Madrid

It was a busy schedule for our Under 14 and 15 footballers on the bi-annual football tour to Madrid which included a visit to Atletico Madrid's training ground for the first training session of the tour. The standard of coaching was very impressive. This was followed by a tour of Real Madrid's awesome 'Bernabeau' stadium which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

They were also lucky enough to train at Real Madrid's training ground before watching their 1st team play against Levante in a La Liga match at the Bernabeau. The real fun started with the first matches of the tour against a local Spanish youth team in which both Aldenham teams were too strong for their Spanish counterparts. Highlights were a hat-trick for Romey Eccles-Meoded, a 25 yard wonder strike by Jack Young and a superb headed goal by usual goalkeeper Sam Jacobs.

More training at Real Madrid's training ground was followed by matches against another local Spanish youth team. The U14s realised very quickly that this match wasn't going to be as easy as the previous day as the opposition were at least one school year older than them! A mix up with the opposition also meant that the U15s couldn’t play their game due to a severe age difference between the two teams.

However, the following day more than made up for this disappointment as the matches vs Kings College British School, Madrid were closely fought. In the end the U14s managed a respectable 1-1 draw and the U15s narrowly lost 3-2. There was no time for the U15 team to dwell on their defeat though, as Mrs Murray managed to arrange a friendly game against the Accrington Stanley U15 academy team who were staying in the same hotel. Starting as major underdogs, especially considering they'd already played a match in the morning. However, the team put in an unbelievable performance and beat them 2-1 courtesy of a brilliant winning volley by Joe Barry-Djemal. To beat an academy side shows how good our U15s can be when they really focus!

On the evening of the 5th day we were treated to a Real Madrid Champions League game at the Bernabeau. It was a brilliant evening and one that I'm sure the group will remember for a long time. There was just enough time to train at Atletico Madrid's training ground again before flying back to Luton. It was a whirlwind trip but every day was full of fantastic experiences which will live long into the students' memories.

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Aldenham Foundation