THE MONTROSE Vics Under-14s recently enjoyed a footballing trip to Salou after years of fund-raising and bringing in sponsorship.
After a long journey the day before, the first game on foreign soil was played on the Tuesday of their trip. The group made the bus journey to Lleida to play school team Marit Montserrat. On arrival at the ground the boys were impressed by the Astroturf pitches getting watered, a beautiful little stadium complex, changing facilities and a restaurant.
During the game it became very apparent that this was a very organised team and the Vics did themselves proud by only losing 4-0 and missing a penalty.
When officials were chatting after the game it was highlighted that the team had been together since they were six and were in fact associated to the Barcelona Youth Academy. There were many trophies and pictures in the hallways and five of the first team Barcelona players and Premiership player Cesc Fabregas had played for the team so that was a great boost to the Vics’ boys.
On the way back to Salou the team bus stopped off for a very enjoyable afternoon go-karting. Wednesday was going to be a free day for the youngsters and parents but the lure of the beach was too much and so volleyball and beach football became the order of the day.
The highlight of the day - and possibly the trip - was a trip to the Nou Camp in the evening to watch Barcelona v Shaktar Donetsk. The seats were in the top tier and the group had a wonderful view over the stadium and pitch. All the boys had on their Barcelona tops which was a wonderful sight.
Many thanks must go to Scott Brown who spent many hours on the computer to secure the tickets for the Champions League quarter-final.
On Thursday it was back to Barcelona for a tour of the Nou Camp. The tour itself was very worthwhile and everyone enjoyed it.
Afterwards the team made the short journey to Tarragona for their next game. The boys had a big surprise when they got to the pitch as it was gravel and sand-based which is a surface many were unfamiliar with.
The home team, accustomed to the heat and surface, soon took advantage and scored. Montrose Vics adapted well to the surface and the bounce of the ball but again the home team took advantage of some dodgy bounces and made the score 2-0 before half-time.
After a long hard look at the ground and some changes to the set up of the team, the away team came out with a new spirit within themselves and with the backing of the travelling support they secured a win.
Whilst having refreshments after the game it became apparent that a couple of Real Madrid players came from this school and in fact the boys played against lads who were older than themselves.
On arrival back at the hotel it was straight into the pool for the players who deserved their rewards after such a fine display of football and team togetherness.
With the trip coming to a close, the team and parents went out for a meal at night then back to the hotel to pack.
The boys had arranged a final photo session for themselves and the manager down beside the pool and to show their appreciation they threw the manager Darrell Beedie into the pool which turned into a free for all as all the boys ended up in the water, as did Carlene Forbes who helped with organising the trip.
The Vics Under-14s enjoyed the trip and were a credit to Montrose Youth and Montrose itself and have extended thanks to everyone who has helped with sponsorship, forecasts sales, suppliers of kits, and the rest of Montrose Youth.