Carrick Rangers’ Under-11s are planning a football trip of a lifetime, swapping the humble surrounds of Taylor’s Avenue for the magnificence of Barcelona’s Nou Camp.
Next Easter the talented junior Gers - some of whom are on the radars of Manchester United and Liverpool - are hoping to jet 1,500 miles to soak up the mesmerising magic of Messi and co. at the home of the La Liga champions.
As part of a five-day tour, the lads are aiming get the chance to measure their tiki-taka skills against a Barca academy squad in the Catalan capital.
Their coach, Gary Scott, told the Times: “The boys will play two matches; one against local opposition and another against a Barcelona youth team.
“They will train at FC Barcelona’s facilities and experience a two-hour coaching session, guided by a Barcelona academy coach. They will also be given tour of the Nou Camp and, if they’re really lucky, they will get to watch a Barcelona La Liga game.
“It’s about educating the boys on how they conduct themselves professionally away from home in a footballing context.
“Hopefully some of these boys will be good enough to get trials across the water so a trip like this will teach them that how they conduct themselves off the pitch is just as important as on the pitch. We hope they will have as much fun as possible.
“For the coaches it will be a great insight to see how the world’s biggest and best football club operate. An opportunity to learn from the best is an opportunity not be missed.
“Their methods, styles, and philosophy on the game is something we are looking forward to experiencing. Hopefully we can implement a few of those when we return to Carrick. The whole team - boys and coaches - are going to learn so much.”
Originally England was the preferred destination but Barcelona became a reality through Neil Russell from Clubworld Travel.
“Without his contacts this wouldn’t be possible; he and his colleagues have been fantastic,” Scott added. “The team is hoping to raise a great deal of sponsorship to ensure everyone will make the journey.
“We would appeal to any local businesses to get on board to help sponsor the team. We will have sponsorship packages in place for those who wish to contribute to the trip.”
For more information contact Gary Scott: 07712595885.
n Danske Bank Premiership: Carrick Rangers’ trip to Ballymena United, scheduled for Saturday, August 29, has been moved to Friday, August 28 (7:45 pm).
It will be Rangers’ first trip to The Showgrounds since April 2012 when a James Costello hat-trick all but confirmed Carrick’s relegation from the top flight.