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Total football experience for New Plymouth Boys' High School players

Total football experience for New Plymouth Boys' High School players

Total football experience for New Plymouth Boys' High School players

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A total football experience is being promised for 18 New Plymouth Boys' High School students who are about to tour the United Kingdom and Spain.

The touring party is made up of players from a number of the school's team who will spend 16 days across the two countries once they leave on Wednesday.

More than three years planning has gone into the tour that will include three matches in the United Kingdom and three matches in Spain. It is the first major football trip the school has embarked on since they went to Malaysia and Singapore three years ago.

The group will also have trips to Wembley Stadium and Manchester United's home ground Old Trafford, while they will do the same in Spain where they will visit Barcelona's home ground, the famous Camp Nou before they head to Madrid where they will tour Real Madrid's home at the Santiago Bernabeu.

They will also have training sessions with English FA and Real Madrid coaches.  

The touring party will also take in matches in the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga competition.

Manager Michael Taylor said a number of players had dropped out and come in to the touring party since they fully committed to going.

The group, who are coached by Michael Somers, have been training for more than a year in preparation.

Just how they organised suitable opposition for the boys has been a commonly asked question with Somers well versed with the answer.

"It has been difficult," he admitted. "When we went to Malaysia the level was so up and down, one week we would win 3-0 and the next week we would win 10-0."

He had had plenty of correspondence with perspective opponents and was relatively confident they had got it right.

"We have to trust them to match us up with something decent because if the boys are going to get something out of it there has to be a level of competition. They don't want to go over there and lose three games by 10 or more, that's not beneficial to them.

"We want to win every game, obviously, but I think for the younger guys it's about developing their skills. Hopefully they soak it all up because it's a total football trip from start to finish."

The captain of the touring party is Matt Roodbeen.    

 - Stuff

GLENN MCLEAN