Students of Preston North End headed overseas for an educational sports visit to Lisbon, taking on foreign opposition whilst enjoying the Portugal culture.
Playing in different stadiums and training in first class facilities, it gave students on the education programme a unique experience as representatives of Preston North End in foreign territory as Education Tutor and coach Zach Clarke explained.
“The team spent five days in Portugal taking part in various activities,” said Zach.
“They were able to enjoy the opportunity of taking on two local Portuguese sides in recognised stadiums venues, whilst taking part in adaptable training sessions, as well as sampling the culture and bonding as a team.
“A huge thanks to Easy Sports Solutions for looking after us whilst we were there and providing students the experience of a lifetime.”
The team stayed at Rio Maior Training Centre, a National Olympic Centre; here facilities were varied and of a highly professional standard. The team were allowed use of all facilities such as the gym and the ice baths for recovery – and were as impressive as you’d expect as Brendan Burke and Luke Harrison, students from PNE testified.
“It was all very professional” said Brendan. “From the facilities, right the way through to the coaches. On the pitch, we learned more about formations and tactics which was adapted to our training. It wasn’t just playing football however, we got to sample the culture whilst we were there and enjoyed visits to the Stadium of Light, home of FC Benfica, played beach football and enjoyed the local lagoon.
Luke added: “Even now, we keep discussing the great memories we had and it’s 100 percent made us more of a team. A massive way of developing as a footballer is by taking on different styles of football, and playing against a completely different kind of opposition, it was a huge learning curve for us all and such a unique experience.”
Meanwhile, other members of the education programme enjoyed a trip to Kepplewray Residential Park in Cumbria where they took part in a number of team bonding exercise with both trips looking at heightening the experience of the course whilst building on team spirit amongst the camp.
Both trips proved hugely successful with students finding both trips educational and fun.
Find out more about the Preston North End’s education provision to post 16-year-olds; call 01772 693309 or email Education@pne.com. The course hosts a level two and three diploma in sport and exercise and are actively recruiting for this September’s intake.
Register your interest now and you could be donning the PNE colours abroad next season!
Photography by student, Jack Carysforth.