IT was ‘no Spain no gain’ for a group of Gourock school pupils who jetted out to Valencia to train with some of Europe’s top football coaches.

Players from St Columba’s High School, pictured, enjoyed a four day trip to train with Valencia FC’s first team coaches.

During their trip, the youngsters were put through their paces before taking part in a special tournament against young Spanish footballers.

Talented players Hannah McGeehan, 14, and Charli McNicol, say they revelled in a goal-den opportunity.

Hannah, an S3 pupil, said: “The standard of football over there is really good and the coaches were brilliant.”

Aspiring footballers Nathan Lightfoot and Aidan McFadyen, both aged 13 and in S3, also enjoyed the experience.
Nathan said: “The fact that we could train with the Valencia coaches was great.

“They helped us get a sense of how the team train.”

Aidan said: “I managed to get a cheeky wee picture of the Valencia team walking into the stadium – it was pretty good.

It was good to work in the heat as it got our fitness up.”

Lindsay McGurk, head of health and wellbeing at the school, said the visit was a fantastic experience for all the youngsters.

She said: “This is a bi-annual trip that the PE department organises and it’s open to all boys and girls who have an interest in football.

“Before they go away there is lots of fundraising and the pupils also get Spanish lessons which are delivered by the modern languages department.

“It’s a four day trip and they have training sessions twice a day with the Valencia first team coaches.

“They also played matches and I’m delighted to report that both of our teams won their games, 3-0 and 4-2. They also went to see Atletico Madrid versus Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium, which was a brilliant experience for them.”

Now back at home, the young footballers are putting what they learned on the pitch into practice.

She added: “They get to experience very high quality football coaching and they also get the chance to practice their Spanish.”