For at least one Manning footballer a recent training tour of Abu Dhabi was a dream come true.
Silas Barberie was a member of the Football Mid North Coast (FMNC) group of under 14s National Premier League (NPL) players in Abu Dhabi and the focus of the tour was to train under Manchester City coaches in developing their skills in a professional setting.
Silas is an avid Manchester City fan.
The tour involved two sessions a week as well as night matches, with up to four Manchester City coaches at each session. The side clashed with the Manchester City under 13s and under 14s academy selects squads where they were able to hold their own.
The Manning was well represented in the side through Silas, Josh Hughes and Joshua Walker.
Josh enjoyed his first time of travelling on a plane overseas as well as experiencing Middle Eastern culture. He said it was great to see how a professional team runs in relation to training, nutrition, attitude and appearance.
Josh’s dad Mark noted that the Manchester City coaching staff built a great rapport with the FMNC side.
Silas enjoyed the professionalism of the coaches and the opportunity to grow as a player.
“Off the field, the coaches treated us like young men and relied on us to make the right decisions,” Silas said. “We spent five days with them developing our individual skills as well as our combination play, which we tested in two tough fixtures against the Man City academy team.”
Joshua said that his best part of the trip was learning a host of new skills that he will adapt to his own style of play as well as the chance to train at the Emirates Palace.
The team had the privilege of walking out with Real Madrid in their FIFA World Club Challenge semi final with Al Jazeera. The Manning trio agreed that being flag bearers for the side and standing a few metres away from the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale was a highlight of the trip.
The side also didn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit iconic sites such as Ferrari World and received two official Manchester City full strips and an Adidas kit for participating in the tour.