Junior footballers were put through their paces by coaches from AC Milan – and six lucky players were chosen to go to Italy next year.
The five-day training camp was staged at Alnwick Town’s St James’ Park ground last week, with more than 80 children from around north Northumberland attending.
It comes as a result of a partnership between Alnwick Town and the Italian giants and a second training camp takes place next week.
At the end of the first week, six youngsters were selected to go to Italy for a weekend in March to play in a tournament with players from around the world. They will also get to experience the huge San Siro stadium.
The lucky six – chosen for ability, but also their attitude and willingness to learn – were Ben Carrigan, Marco Mackenley, Sam Anderson, Peggy Mary Mein, Rhiannon Mallaburn and Koen Ross.
The camp – the first of its kind at Alnwick – has been hailed as a massive success.
AC Milan official UK representative Carl Dunn said: “It has been fantastic and one of the best camps we have had. The coaches themselves have said that it has been fabulous from day one and they received a wonderful welcome.
“The coaches have been using an AC Milan training module and it has gone down well. We really want to build on this camp in Alnwick and do it over several years.”
During the course of the week, the youngsters learnt various skills, were informed about nutrition and given an AC Milan kit, which was included in the cost of the camp.
One of the AC Milan coaches, Lorenzo Sodero, praised the youngsters and said the team from the Rossoneri enjoyed their time in Alnwick.
He said: “Five days of training is a lot, but none of the children showed fatigue and they showed great commitment.”
The camp is for children aged six to 15 years. The next one runs from Monday to Friday. Six more youngsters will be selected for the Milan trip.
For more details and to inquire about availability, visit www.alnwicktownjuniors.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org