Wednesday 31st October 2018
They are one of the world’s top teams with some of the best facilities on the planet, and last week Manchester City hosted the FCV International Football Academy.
With a 7,000-capacity Academy Stadium, dozens of football pitches and a performance centre – among many other world-class facilities – the Etihad Campus provided an inspirational backdrop for the FCV Academy players.
Made to feel welcome from the minute they arrived in the north west, this unique trip supported by our partners Inspire Sport, more than lived up to expectations.
“As soon as we got to the complex the boys were taken to the changing rooms where they got to wear Manchester City’s own training kit,” FCV Academy head coach Grant Brown explained.
“They were then split into three groups before being taken through a warm-up and then got to work on the session, in which the boys were able to show their capabilities.
“At the end of that it was time for lunch, before a tour of the Etihad Stadium and a visit to the club store to purchase mementos.”
That short walk over the pedestrian bridge which connects the Campus to the 55,000-capacity Etihad Stadium gave the FCV players a taste of being inside a Premier League stadium, but with Manchester City’s first team in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League the only thing missing from the experience was the chance to get a glimpse of some of the world’s elite in action.
Instead, on the Wednesday evening, it was a quick trip to the hotel for dinner, before a 20-mile journey to the University of Bolton Stadium, where they looked on as Nottingham Forest ran out 3-0 winners away at Bolton Wanderers in a Championship encounter.
“It was then back to the hotel and straight off to bed because Thursday was a double session,” Brown added.
“This time the group was split in half which enabled the coaches to work on a few tactical aspects of the game while still being consistent with the messages they communicated from the previous day’s session.
“The main focus throughout was forward passing, receiving, and movement to create overloads, in line with the Manchester City philosophy under [manager] Pep Guardiola.”
The similarities with the first-team didn’t end there, either.
In between the morning and evening sessions, the boys got another taste of life as a Manchester City player, too – enjoying lunch in the Academy restaurant.
“The sessions were brilliant,” beamed Travis Cox, one of the FCV players who attended the trip.
“Each of the three sessions we experienced with Manchester City’s coaches were fantastic and I learned a lot. The whole club follows the ‘Guardiola way’ and the facilities are out of this world.
“I just want to say a big thank you to FCV and Inspire Sport for organising this great opportunity. We were all made to feel very welcome and I would certainly recommend FCV Academy to any local students.”
They were sentiments that were echoed by Travis’ mum, Irene: “We have been very impressed with the professionalism, facilities, quality and organisation of FCV.
“Travis felt it was a brilliant experience across both days. Opportunities like this are rare – we feel very lucky that Travis was able to attend.”
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