26 April 2023  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

Ten of our students recently travelled to Spain with Catterick Village Junior Football Club to take part in the Costa Daurada Cup tournament.  This was made possible following several months of fundraising to give the boys an experience of a lifetime.  The students have given service to the club from the age of 7 up to 16, and many of them may not be playing next year as they go to college or enter the world of work.

Year 11 students Campbell, Finley, Jack (x3), Joe, Marcus and Shaun and Year 10 students Stanton and Sam attended the annual tournament which is one of the largest in Europe.

This year the event consisted of 103 boys’ teams and 48 girls’ teams of varying age groups from countries including America, Canada, Spain, Sweden, England, Mali, Senegal, Mexico, Japan, Cyprus and Ireland. The majority of the teams that enter are either professional elite academies or affiliated to a professional football club. Clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Queens Park Rangers had representative teams in the competition, there weren’t high expectations for a club based in a small village in the North of England!

Paul Hankin, Coach, said: “As long as the team showed a good account of themselves the results didn’t matter but they exceeded all expectations. We also wanted to create a legacy within the club so that every future Under 16 team had a chance to experience a European tournament too.

“The boys were impeccable both in their conduct and play and represented both our club (and country for that matter) in the highest manner. We were even the flag bearers at the head of the England group of teams in procession during the opening ceremony with other elite teams, including QPR behind us. Catterick Village Junior Football Club – Pride of Yorkshire indeed!

“After drawing our first match against San Marcial, we won our second against Salou before suffering our first defeat against American Elite Academy and Football Scouting organisation, Futstar/XR Soccer. We had finished second in our group against some of the best academies in the world and would now meet CF Martorell in the quarter finals, a club whose senior team plays in the sixth tier of the Spanish Football League. Unfortunately, some dubious refereeing decisions went against us and, despite playing very well, we were knocked out of the competition 3-0.

“What we have taken from the tournament is that as a club, Catterick Village JFC are doing things right and are developing our players into exceptional young men. As well as the way in which they conducted themselves throughout the whole week, mixing with other European teams, and remaining upbeat at all times, they played as a team, stuck by each other and proved that as long as they displayed mutual support and trust in their teammates, they could compete with the best. The entire trip has surpassed any preconceived expectations we may have had and I would recommend the experience to anyone, so much so that we are now looking into the possibility of our team returning in two years’ time to compete as Under 18s alongside our Under 16s (currently Under 14s).



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