Members of The Henley College’s Football Development Programme have travelled to Spain’s national football training centre for a five day tour.
The 17 students (comprised of a mix of 1st and 2nd XI players) were guests at Madrid’s Ciudad Del Futbol where they trained each day at the professional facilities and played 3 fixtures against high quality local opposition.
The first fixture against AD Parla was at the end of a long day of travel. Henley acquitted themselves very well and despite a 0-2 loss can be very pleased with the performance against very strong opposition. The following day Henley produced their best performance of the tour against CD Arganda. A 1-1 draw was not a fair reflection of a game Henley dominated, conceding a goal to a dubious penalty in the final minute of the game. On the final morning Henley played Tres Cantos, who were the weakest opposition. Tiredness played a factor in the disappointing 4-0 defeat, but the players can be proud of their efforts.
The tour also included a trip to Real Madrid’s famous Bernabeu stadium for a stadium tour, and the highlight of the week, watching Real Madrid beat Eibar 4-0 in Saturday’s La Liga fixture. The students also got to experience other local sights such as the Plaza Mayor and La Puerta del Sol and watched Athletico Madrid’s U17 side play a friendly.
It was a highly successful trip that will have benefited the students immensely with the experience of playing, watching and living football at the home of one of Europe’s best football nations.