Youngsters to tour USA with football team

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An under-15s football team have been busy raising money for an American tour.

The Spen Valley Schools Football Association head to Los Angeles and San Francisco next April.

Gavin Birmingham, a former player with the squad who now coaches in the States, invited them over.

Club chairman Bernie Preece, who also taught Gavin at St John Fisher Catholic High School, Dewsbury, said: “It’s giving the young lads the value of travel.

“You can never, ever replicate this kind of education in the classroom. We will see them grow from young boys to men with this trip.

“You take the kids away and it’s such a powerful educational tool.”

The team is made up of the best players from the district’s schools, such as Whitcliffe Mount and Heckmondwike Grammar.

With the side open to those aged 11 to 15, this set of youngsters are about to advance to the next level, and the trip is seen as a final celebration.

“These are memories they will take away for the rest of their lives and tell their kids about,” Bernie said.

The boys are waiting for confirmation on having a training session with LA Galaxy, David Beckham’s former side, and will take on other youth teams.
While in San Francisco, they will cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge and play at grounds in its shadow.

Coach Simon Waker thinks £30-38,000 is needed for the trip. The boys have already fetched around £19,000 with efforts including bag packing in supermarkets, a three peaks challenge earlier in the year which made £3,000 alone, and a weekly lottery.

To sponsor them with kit or have your advert in their tour brochure, call Simon on 07769540815.