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From 25-28 May, 15 academy players from CONEL’s men’s football team went undefeated on their annual end-of-year football tour to Catalonia in north-eastern Spain.

CONEL was invited by the prestigious Academia de Futbol de Catalunya and played in two showcase games in front of scouts from La Liga clubs Barcelona and Espanyol.

The group had an action packed four day trip. Arriving on Saturday 25th, the group settled into their hotel rooms before eating dinner together and watching the Copa del Rey final, Spain’s equivalent to England’s FA Cup.

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On the Sunday morning the team faced their first opponents, Club Deportivo La Floresta, Tarragona’s leading football school and community club – which recently signed a collaboration agreement with Spanish La Liga side Villarreal. The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

On Monday morning the squad trained at the Academia De Futbol de Catalunya and in the afternoon they played their second match vs triallists from the Academia, which also ended in a one-all draw. The Academia De Futbol de Catalunya has a range of excellent training and match pitches, and provides a ‘gateway’ to Spanish football, right from youth football and schools teams seeking tours or tournaments, to elite players who are looking for assistance breaking into the professional ranks in Spain.

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Coach Josemar Santos said, “It was an amazing trip! The boys conducted themselves like true professionals. This was a great team building exercise, which will help us going into next season’s fixtures and may be the only opportunity that some of our students will have to play abroad.”

Student Romans Andrejevs, who played centre back on the tour, joined CONEL’s Charlton Athletic Football Club Development Squad in 2017. Romans said: “Josemar has helped me understand the game better. CONEL has outstanding facilities, the teachers are excellent and I’d fully recommend anyone looking for a career in sport to come here.”

Earlier this year, Romans signed with top Portuguese club Maritimo and will be joining them in the future. Meanwhile he is continuing his studies at CONEL and is excelling in his Sport First Diploma course.

To join one of CONEL’s sports academies and be in with a chance of going on a trip like this, click here: https://www.conel.ac.uk/for-learners/sports-academies.html

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