Whitley Bay Boys Club teams get to play in Barcelona

Some of the players and coaches from Whitley Bay Boys Club who took part in the tournament.

Some of the players and coaches from Whitley Bay Boys Club who took part in the tournament.

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Whitley Bay Boys Club took three under-11 teams and two under-13 teams to the Barcelona Football Festival, held at Santa Susanna, just north of the city.

They joined teams other from England, France, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Indonesia and Spain.

A string of outstanding performances saw the U11 Blues reach the quarter-finals of the tournament before being knocked out by a Belgian team. The Blues eventually finished a respectable sixth.

The U13 Blues won the tournament’s Shield Cup, finishing fifth overall after beating a local side 1-0 in the final.

The highlight for the U11 Whites was taking on the sophisticated set up of Barcelona Academy and managing to get a goal against them.

Club chairman Rob Nixon said: “The boys were a credit to the club and their parents, both on and off the pitch, showing great camaraderie between all the teams.

“As one of the boys said, ‘It was just a fantastic atmosphere and fun with to be away with all my team-mates and meet new friends’.”

The tournament was rounded off by a trip to Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium where the boys came out of the tunnel, following in the footsteps of Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho to take in the surroundings of the 100,000 seater stadium.

The club is now planning a return trip to the tournament next year.