The prospect of a trip to Valencia Football Club in Spain has been dangled in front of almost 100 young footballers from Bo’ness.
Last week Bo’ness United Community Football Club hosted a two-day coaching seminar which was taken by half a dozen coaches from the Spanish side.
The event was organised by Inspire Sport and funded through a National Lottery Awards for All grant of nearly £10,000.
And, as the coaches and club officials broke the ice over a drink in a local hotel, they bumped into a Spanish businessman, now living in Bo’ness, Alfonso Zapater, a personal friend of the Valencia chief executive.
As well as attending the coaching sessions and participating enthusiastically, he has promised to try to set up a trip to Spain for the club.
Jennifer Brown, Bo’ness United CFC co-ordinator, said: ‘‘It won’t be cheap but it is certainly something to aspire to after last week’s coaching sessions which were a huge success.’’
Ninety-three footballers aged 7-16 years took part in the two-day football skills sessions as well as martial arts coaching.
And club coaches also benefitted from a session with their Spanish visitors.
The sessions were held at Bo’ness Recreation Centre and cost the participants £60 each.
‘‘It was money well spent from a coaching point of view,’’ said Jennifer who added: ‘‘Bo’ness United Community Football Club would like to thank the council workers who prepared the pitches and the recreation centre staff for their assistance as well as the parents and especially the wonderful Spanish coaches who were absolutely great with the children.
‘‘Although it was a massive event in terms of cost and organisation I’d do it again in a heartbeat,’’ added Jennifer.
‘‘It was just a brilliant experience for everyone involved and we will be trying very hard to make the return trip to Valencia happen although it could be two years before we are able to make that trip.’’