FOOTBALL: Forfar Academy’s school teams enjoyed a dream trip to Barclay’s Premier League clubs, Newcastle United and Sunderland.
The Angus boys had coaching sessions, played a challenge match against a local team and had a behind the scenes tour of the Stadium of Light and Sunderland’s training ground, the Academy of Light. Also thrown in were tickets for Newcastle United’s recent shock league win over Chelsea.
At Newcastle’s training ground, the Forfar lads enjoyed a two-hour session with the club’s top coaches.
On the second in Sunderland, the Under-15 side took part in a challenge match against local opposition, running out 5-1 victors with goals by Jason King (3), Gary Speed and Straun Doherty. The under-14s suffered a close defeat.
For Keiran Crighton it was extra special as he was one of four Forfar Academy pupils – along with Keiran Ward, Greg Simpson and Ryan Stirton – selected as ball boys for the Newcastle United versus Chelsea match
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Crighton. “One of the best things I have ever done. We were on the pitch before the match and I even got a high five from Chelsea players Frank Lampard and Juan Mata. I’ll never forget it.”
The trip was coordinated by mathematics teacher Ally Taylor and drama teacher Paul Harrison, with help from Edinburgh-based company Trans-Atlantic Soccer, specialists in organising English Premier League Tours for school groups and youth football teams from Scotland and around the world.
Harrison said: “We were absolutely delighted with our school trip. We couldn’t have picked a better match to watch all season and the training facilities were fantastic.”