YOUTH members of Lyme Regis Football Club were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they played at the FA’s national football centre.
The national 5-a-side tournament for under 12s was organised by Rotary International, with both boys and girls from Lyme’s youth section being able to take part thanks to a generous grant from the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis towards expenses and a new kit especially for the event.
The tournament was held at St George’s Park in Burton on Trent, home of the FA and England’s 28 national teams. The £105million facility, opened in 2012, with 13 outdoor pitches including a replica of the Wembley surface.
The Lyme Regis squad of 10 players, which included the only three girls in the competition, showed determination, team work and passion for the sport. They received compliments from opposing managers and parents for their enthusiasm, which did not wane over all 10 games played, and for excellent performances which included a hattrick, fantastic tackles and runs and some wonderful saves from the keeper.
Coach Martyn Wright said: “The players bonded as a team, learned together how to cope with being flung into such a big competition and with opponents most of whom were older and bigger than themselves, and came out of it thrilled to bits at having taken part. They played on the David Beckham pitch, they did their best and their enthusiasm was infectious.
“They learned what effort can achieve and that has given each and every one of them confidence. Players, parents and football club officials are grateful to the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis for arranging our entry into this competition, for the new strip and for very generous assistance.”