A group of Maiden City Soccer Academy footballers were put through their paces by coaching staff at Premiership club, Newcastle United during an unforgettable trip to St James’ Park recently.
The Derry youngsters, from the MCA’s Talent Development Centre, attended the Magpies’ Premiership clash against Swansea last month.
And, after meeting with players from both teams, the players sat back as Wilfried Bony’s last-gasp penalty earned Swansea a crucial 2-1 Premier League in an entertaining match.
Four of the club’s members were fortunate enough to see the action from pitchside as James Gallagher, Oran Enfield, Marc Porter and Tyrese Burke were all selected to be ball-boys for the game.
The club’s annual weekend trip began with a bus and boat journey to Stranraer where they stopped off to play indoor football and went for a swim at the Ryan Centre.
And the following day, the MCA squad got the chance to meet several of the Swansea City players before brushing shoulders with Newcastle’s Steven Taylor, Tim Krul and Vernon Anita on the way in to St James’ Park where they were met by the club’s coaches who would take them through a training session at the state-of-the-art training ground at Darsley Park.
It was an early start the following day as the players prepared for a pre-arranged clash with Wallsend Boys Club - where Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley, Steven Taylor and Michael Carrick all began their careers.
The group was split into three teams, however, Wallsend proved too strong for a group of players who had only met on the previous Friday evening.
The MCA coaches would like to thank every player who went for their valuable contribution during a fantastic weekend for the club.
Under-17s in Liverpool
Meanwhile, Maiden City Academy’s U17 team embarked on a four day trip to Liverpool and Wigan recently.
The group competed against some excellent teams and did themselves and their coaches extremely proud during a 3-0 defeat to Bury and a narrow 4-3 loss to Ashton College.
However, the highlight of the week came on the Saturday morning when they played against Wigan Athletic U18 Academy and drew 1-1. A last minute equaliser for the home team denying MCA a great victory.
And the week was rounded off with a visit to the DW Stadium to watch Wigan host Blackpool.