Arlesey Town Youth join forces with England boss
PUBLISHED: 17:22 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010
ARLESEY Town Youth joined forces with England boss Fabio Capello and 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst at the McDonald s National Football Festival at Wembley on Monday. The Mid Beds youngsters received expert tuition from McDonald s head coach Eric Har
ARLESEY Town Youth joined forces with England boss Fabio Capello and 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst at the McDonald's National Football Festival at Wembley on Monday.
The Mid Beds youngsters received expert tuition from McDonald's head coach Eric Harrison - the former Manchester United youth team boss who nurtured the talents of David Beckham - before taking part in mini-tournaments under the watchful gaze of Capello and Hurst.
The under-10s earned their place under the Arch alongside 55 teams from around the UK after being chosen by the Beds FA for their impressive disciplinary record.
And manager Bob Tyler was thrilled that his team got the chance to follow in the footsteps of their senior team who won the FA Vase final in 1995 under the Twin Towers.
"It was a fantastic experience not only for the kids but for all of the adults who came with us and something all of us will never forget," said Tyler.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play on one of the most famous pitches in the world - some of the best players in the country never get the chance to play at Wembley.
"The club had a great day at Wembley in 1995 and these boys have done the club proud by reaching the new stadium."
The event had been organised by McDonald's, the Football Association's community partner, as the culmination of a regional festival tour which saw more than 20,000 children receive free coaching at 50 regional festivals.
Arlesey, who play in the Royston Crow League, repeated the journey made by Portsmouth and Manchester United stars from the weekend's Community Shield - walking down the tunnel, playing a match on the hallowed turf and walking up the famous Wembley steps to the Royal Box.
And Hurst is hopeful some of the youngsters on show might be back pulling on an England shirt in the future.
"I was delighted to be involved with a scheme that was able to give the kids the chance to play at Wembley," said Hurst.
"The day is completely for the players and when you look at the faces on the Arlesey players when they came off the pitch you could see what it meant to them.
"They've had the chance to play at this great stadium and you never know some of them might be back one day playing professionally."
The McDonald's National Festival aims to boost the standard and availability of qualified coaching for young players in every community.