58 students and 7 staff have just returned from the trip of a life time to FC Porto in Portugal, as rewards trip to celebrate the hard work and success of our boy’s football teams and clubs. Having previously visited Valencia in 2010, Villarreal in 2011 and Ajax in 2013, Inspiresport highly recommended FC Porto in Portugal as our next football trip, and we are delighted we acted on their advice. Inspiresport are an excellent school trip provider who organise the full itinerary and organise everything that is required for the pupils to experience a trip of a lifetime. Students and staff arrived late morning after an easy flight from Manchester and went straight to training at the First Team’s training ground, fully kitted in the FC Porto academy training kit.
We were all delighted with the standard of the coaching from the Porto Dragonforce coaches. The organisation, enthusiasm, knowledge and personal rapport with our pupils was first class in every training session. All pupils were actively engaged and enjoyed the sessions and, as a result, most made significant progress throughout the 5 coaching days. The pupils all made very positive comments about the quality of the coaching and the facilities used. In addition, we also trained at the Vitalis Porto Dragon force training ground which is used by over 900 local development and academy children from Porto. The pupils also enjoyed a fantastic experience when they visited the Porto award winning museum and stadium tour. They also spent a lot of money in the modern Club Fan shop buying presents for themselves, family and friends.
The highlight for most was watching Porto play Sporting Lisbon in the Estadio do Dragao Stadium on the Saturday evening which was a memorable experience as the atmosphere and the quality of football was excellent. Inspiresport arranged fixtures against local development teams and we played five age related games. The Year 9 and 10 ‘A’ teams won both games and the Northfield pupils played some excellent football throughout. The best goal was Brandon’s half-volley from 25 yards into the top corner. All the pupils really enjoyed playing in the games as they were competitive but played in very good spirit. There were some excellent individual and team performances, with comical goal celebrations. Charlie won the best goal celebration; Luke was a close second. The hotel was perfectly located with excellent facilities for a school football trip.
The pupils all experienced some Portuguese food as the restaurant at the hotel and training ground was very good. A lot of the general public in the hotel and the EasyJet flight captain and attendants all spoke highly of our pupils saying how well behaved they were and also how well-mannered and respectful they were. The coaches also made comments that they were all excellent throughout the trip and one of the best schools they have ever had. The pupils really enjoyed the football trip, most of them saying it was best thing they have ever done and it was a “trip of a lifetime.”