From Willow Park to the Nou Camp for Pontefract football team

Pontefract Sports and Social under-8s who are hoping to play at Barcelona FC's Nou Camp stadium next year.
Pontefract Sports and Social under-8s who are hoping to play at Barcelona FC's Nou Camp stadium next year.

It is graced by some of the world’s greatest football players every week.

The likes of Lionel Messi, Luiz Suarez and Brazillian Neymar are now accustom to playing in front of almost 100,000 fans when they play for FC Barcelona at its Nou Camp stadium.

But next year it will be youngsters at Pontefract and Sports Social Club under-8s gracing the hallowed turf of the famous stadium after securing a spot in an international junior competition.

Bev Dorking, whose son Charlie Bullimore plays for the team, said: “All of the lads in the team live and breathe football. They absolutely love it.

“They train twice a week and play every Saturday. When the lads train there are more Barcelona kits than any other so this really will be a dream come true for them.”

The tournament will take place between June 15 and 18 next year.

The team, who play their home games in Willow Park, and compete in the Selby and District Junior Football League, will compete against other junior teams from across the world in a league and knockout style tournament called the Europa League, organised by Precision Pass.

Miss Dorking said: “On the first day they will arrive and get settled in.

“On the second day they will play three games on the Barcelona training ground.

“Then on the third day they will actually play on the pitch at the Nou Camp itself.

“They’ll get changed in the dressing rooms there and then come out of the tunnel to the Champions League tune.

“It really is the opportunity of a lifetime for them. They just can’t wait to get out there and play.”