A combined squad of under 15’s and 16’s travelled to Real Madrid for a once in a life time experience training at Valdebabas stadium, home to Real Madrid and the academy. The boys left The Venue and travelled to Heathrow and flew out to Madrid.
Day 2 the lads had a training session with academy coach Carlos. In the session the lads worked on ball manipulation, control, passing and finished with shooting before relaxing for lunch. The afternoon session Carlos set the lads up some small sided games working on the mornings technical sessions, finishing with a cross bar challenge.
Day 3, Carlos had set up another session testing the players close ball control, short and long passing and 1st touch. The afternoon session was set up in preparation for the 1st game.
The lads were split into 2 squads to play against Espartales. The under 15’s played against Esparateles 15’s and won 4-1 with 2 goals apiece for Will Dunne and Peter Fletcher. The mixed 15’s/16’s played against Esparateles under 19’s squad and were unlucky to come away with a 2-0 loss. The lads found some of the referee decisions difficult to take and the way their opponents reacted to some tackles.
Day 4, the lads were a little bit stiff and Carlos put on a recovery session on for the lads in the morning and the afternoon session again worked on small sided games and possession again in preparation for the evening game against E.D. Moratalaz. The pitch was big and the surface wasn’t as good as the 1st pitch they played on. The 2 squads were a little depleted due to injuries to Will Doherty (dislocated his shoulder in the 1st game) and Rhys Lee (taking a heavy knock in the 1st game) and some of the lads had tight hamstrings. E.D. Moratalaz had a squad of 18 players against the under 15’s. The half ended 0-0 and the hosts made 7 changes and the TNS lads had to dig deep and work hard for each other. As the game was coming to the end Jamie Monk won the ball back in his own penalty area and his pass was superbly controlled by Tom Hanna, who beat his marker and played in Will Dunne. Wills 1st touch took him away from his marker and he shot back the opposite way with the keeper stranded. The boys managed to find some energy to celebrate with the match winner and the referee blew for full time. The mixed 15/16’s squad played the older squad who had a full team sitting on the bench. Half time the 11 was changed for a new 11 and the host ran out winners.
Day 5, The lads checked out of the hotel and enjoyed a morning shopping in Madrid before heading for a tour around the Bernabeu Stadium, before heading to the airport, to head home.”
Steve Monk said ” An absolutely fantastic opportunity and once in a life time experience for the lads and the 3 coaches. The hotel, Madrid and Valdebabas training facilities were superb. The Real Madrid coach Carlos was superb with his sessions and how he worked with all of the lads. The lads had recovery sessions and some managed to get a massage off the female physio for tight muscles! Both squads played some very good football against the local opposition. The 2nd game we were down to the bare 11 in each squad due to injuries and played against a very good team that had a lot of substitutes. It was a very good test for the lads and had to come to terms with the some strange refereeing decisions and the way the opposition reacted to being tackled. I am already looking to organize next years trip-just need to decide were to go!”
Ben Crump, Jamie Monk, Rhys Thomas, Liam Bates, Taps Kamutasa, Zak Dobie, Dennis Bates, Tom Hanna, Sean Kiff, Peter Fletcher, Will Dunne, Niall Sinefield,Will Evans, Rhys Lee, Steve Naisby, Matty Williams,Dan Jones, Lewis Burns, Aron Jones, Sean Phelan, Tom Wilson,Will Doherty, James Harrison, Callum O’connor, Steven Macdonnell
Liverpool v TNS 12’s
`TNS 12’s travelled to play Liverpool academy and Steve Monk took charge of the team. The format was split into 1/4’s- 20, 15, 20 and 15 minute games.
Liverpool started very brightly and TNS lads had to be on their game from the start. Liverpool scored an excellent goal down the right and soon scored a 2nd. TNS lads continued to move the ball around and play football and were rewarded with a well taken goal from Thai. As the 1st game was coming to an end Liverpool were awarded a penalty. 3-1 Liverpool
Game 2 started with TNS passing the ball around well and enjoying a lot of possession and scored through Thai expertly set up by Josh. Liverpool were on the back foot and had to do a lot of defending in this 1/4 and scored against the run of play. The goal didnt put the lads off and they looked dangerous with every attack. All the possession paid off with Thai scoring again after being set up by an inch perfect pass by Alfie. 1-2 TNS
Game 3 started with Liverpool stepping up a gear and soon found themselves 2 goals up. TNS went close through Thai, Ben and Josh. Liverpool scored 2 further goals. 1 that wouldn’t look out of place in the premiership. 4-0 Liverpool
Game 4 Liverpool came out of the blocks 100 mph and scored straight away. This seemed to knock the lads and Liverpool scored 2 quick goals. Thai had a long range effort just go over the bar and Ben saw his effort saved by the keeper. Dave in goal for TNS pulled off 3 excellent saves that had the Liverpool coaches, players and parents applauding. Liverpool scored 3 further goals as the lads tired. 6-0 Liverpool
Stand in coach Steve Monk had this to say ” The lads were a real credit to Mark and TNS today. They played football and never gave up. Rhys has stepped up an age and never looked out of place in the heart of the defence. Reagan was superb alongside Rhys and he led the team with such maturity. Matty was asked to play out of position in centre midfield and formed an excellant partnership with Ben. Dave in goal had an injured leg after the 2nd game and he produced some world class saves that had the Liverpool coaches, players and parents applauding. Mark has got some very good players in his squad a real credit to the club.”
David, Rhys, Reagen, Matty, Alfie, Ben, Josh, Thai, Kane, Callum
Liverpool 15’s v TNS 15’s
The lads started the game by pressing Liverpool high up the pitch, not allowing them time to settle on the ball. This frustrated Liverpool and forced them in to making mistakes. TNS got hold of the ball and moved it around quickly. Ilan, Aron and Cameron all had good chances to score early on for TNS before Cam found the back of the net only for the linesman to rule it off side. TNS took the lead when Ilan met a Cameron corner superbly to head home. Changes were made and substitute Peter Fletcher scored a superb goal from 25 yards out. Jamie Monk won the ball back and linked up with Tom Hanna down the right. Tom pulled the ball back for Peter to hit it 1st time in to the top corner with the keeper rooted to the spot. Changes were made at half time and TNS come out of the traps second half as they had played the first. Sean Kiff beat his marker and fed Dec his 1st time pass found Arron who beat his marker, took the ball around the keeper and into the back of the net. TNS were in total control of the game and looked like scoring every time they went forward. Sean Kiff beat his marker and drove into the penalty area and was taken out by 2 Liverpool players only for the referee to give a goal kick! to the amazement of both teams! Further changes were made and with 15 minutes to play Liverpool scored a well worked goal. This seemed to spur Liverpool on and the won a penalty to make it 3-2. TNS lads were under a lot of pressure and Liverpool grabbed an equaliser with only minutes to play. The game ended 3-3
Steve Monk commented “Wow what a game for 65 minutes the lads were superb 3-0 up and a blatant penalty turned down, if it is given and we score that we go 4 up and game over in my opinion. We are disappointed to come away with a draw, but all credit to the boys to come here and take a 3-0 lead! Some of the lads have trained at Real Madrid last week, played against Liverpool this week then playing against Man City this week. A great experience for the lads and a fantastic opportunity to develop and learn.”
Ben, Jamie, Zak, Rhys, Sean, Dec, Joe, Ryan, Peter, Tom, Cameron, Harry, Ilan, Arron, Will, Jac, Steven