Twenty three pupils from Barry Comprehensive School took on the challenge of competing against some of the best footballers that Barcelona had to offer on the annual end of season tour.
The boys stayed at the Club Aire Libre complex and were treated to a purpose built complex with training facilities professional clubs would envy. They sampled the local delicacies at meal times, made good use of the swimming pool and mixed with pupils from other British schools staying at the complex.
The squad played games against Club Cassa de la Selva and a Vilablereix school team and although the results didn’t go our way, the boys performed to a high standard and gained first-hand knowledge and understanding of the Spanish philosophy of football. They also learned that playing in the Barcelona sun is harder than it looks! Notable performances came from Joshua Hobbs who scored two fantastic goals in the first match and Tavis Maxwell who proved to be a rock at the heart of the defence against a strong Vilablereix side. So impressed were the locals with the Barry Comprehensive School squad that they even interviewed some of the pupils for the school newspaper.
As always, the highlight of the trip was the visit to the Nou Camp which provided a lot of excitement and an insight into the world’s most famous club side. The boys visited the interactive museum, were able to get up close to see memorabilia from past players such as Rivaldo, Maradona and Stoichkov, whilst there was plenty of Lionel Messi items for the boys to marvel at. The boys then visited the changing rooms, the media centre, the enormous club shop and walked up the steps onto the pitch side, just like their idols! There was even an opportunity to have their photograph taken with the Champions League Trophy.
The students returned home after five days absolutely exhausted, but having had an unforgettable experience that will stay with them forever.