A BOYS’ football team from Mossend have been invited on a trip of a lifetime to train with Spanish giants Barcelona.
Mossend 2000s contacted the world-famous club on the off-chance of being able to visit facilities at the club whose youth system has developed legendary stars such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carlos Puyol.
To their amazement Barca said yes - but the Mossend club now have to try and raise the funds which will make their dream trip a reality.
Coach Martin Brennan explained how the opportunity to take the youngsters to Barcelona came about.
He said: “Myself, Albert Goodluck, Colin Holland and Chris Glancy took over Mossend 2000s at the start of last season, due to the other coaches opting to go in different directions.
“We had very limited experience of dealing with kids this age and after a season of very mixed results in Soccer 7s we found ourselves going almost straight into 11-a-sides.
“We had heard of other teams going on end-of-season and pre-season trips, this was quite honestly the last thing on our mind as we tried to build the kids up for 11 a-side.
“But I did feel for them and decided to contact Barcelona as an ‘aye right then, that’ll happen’ – well it did.
“They wrote back saying they would be delighted to accept our club and we could arrange dates that would suit us all.”
The aim is for the boys to go for either a three or a five-day training programme with Barca coaches. There would also be daily seminars, museum tours and stadium tours - and if the dates coincide with a game they would see that as well.
But Martin admitted: “The down side to this is the cost - the three-day trip would cost around £6,500 and for the five-day training programme it would be in excess of £12,000.
“These may seem astronomical prices, but bear in mind that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for any aspiring footballer.
“We would appreciate any help from any source that would see them get there.”