Head coach Stephen Millar says he was “sold straight away” on next year’s Barcelona Easter Tournament and the opportunity it presents his AC Oxgangs 09 team.
The Edinburgh side travel to sunny Salou at the start of April, where they’ll be joined by over 300 teams from across Europe to compete for the Easter Tournament crown.
As Millar reveals, anticipation is already building: “Our squad is very excited for the trip, it’s all we hear about at training and in matches,” he said. “There is a real buzz about the players as we all have something extra to look forward to and work hard towards.
“We are currently taking part in a lot of fundraising as well which gives them that added excitement and is bringing them together as a team.”
When they arrive in Spain, Oxgangs will get the chance to test themselves against some of the best and brightest young players from across Europe, and Millar is hopeful they’ll learn lots from the experience.
He said: “I am hoping that our players have the trip of a lifetime and make memories to be remembered for years to come; that they learn from the other teams in the tournament in how they play and set up; and from a team bonding point of view that they learn to work together, trust and help their teammates.
“But most of all I hope this experience boosts their love for the game and they enjoy every minute of the experience.”
Oxgangs are a side with festival experience – earlier this year they travelled down to Skegness for a tournament over a couple of days and, although they didn’t win the competition, they returned to Scotland Fair Play award winners.
Now for the first time ever they’re heading to the continent, and Millar reckons competing in one of the most famous football cities on the planet will inspire his team:
“We will visit the Camp Nou as a team during our stay and some other attractions,” he said. “Spanish football is amongst the best in the world and I am really looking forward to seeing what the youth set up is like and the differences to Scotland.”
When it comes time to take to the pitch, there’s no question the competition will be tough, but do Oxgangs have what it takes to win the tournament? As Millar reveals, the players are quietly confident.
He said: “To give a good account of ourselves at the tournament we will need to get the ball down, pass well and – most importantly – work together as a team.
“I am confident they will do themselves, the club and the country proud. Can we win it? Our boys seem to think so.
“We will work hard, try our best and see where it gets us. The most important thing is that they have fun and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.”
If you fancy joining Oxgangs in Spain next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/barcelona for more information.