Academy Manager Richard Thomas provides us with information on Leyton Orient U15s recent visit to Barcelona:
During the February half term Leyton Orient’s U15’s stayed at the Marcet Academy in Barcelona, so named after the former Real Madrid player, which houses boys from all over the world providing them with a full time academic education as well as a full time football education around their studies.
Our hosts were kind enough to convert their video analysis suite into a 22 player dorm complete with bunk beds, to allow the trip to take place at reasonably short notice, which was fantastic for developing camaraderie amongst the group.
The trip included two matches against Marcet, both of which we won 2-1 with the lads performing well against an U16 side in the second game demonstrating great character to come from behind with two goals in the last 10 minutes, with a no nonsense penalty from defender Teddy Perkins, smashed into the roof of the net and the winner, with a few minutes to spare, from Aron Rowe, both of whom have already been offered scholarships with the club.
In both games Bradley McClenaghan received high praise from our hosts and La Liga club staff for his performances in central midfield, which was a great achievement having only turned 14 on the day we travelled, and one he will never forget. As well as the two games, the team trained twice and received a presentation from Espanyol’s Head of Coaching on how they look to play and the club philosophy, before watching Espanyol against Deportivo in La Liga.
After the game we travelled straight to the ‘mini stadia’ at the Camp Nou to watch the stars of tomorrow play for Barca B, in the third tier of the Spanish League against Athletico Levante. A very long day for the lads, but one we hope they will never forget.
To complete the trip the youngsters managed to round it all off with a tour of the Camp Nou, which unsurprisingly was the highlight for many.