Soccer juniors set for a trip of lifetime to United Kingdom
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
SEVEN Gladstone junior soccer players are set for the trip of a lifetime as part of the Soccer Queensland Q-Skills under-15 and 16 representative tour of the United Kingdom in November and December.
Five United players (Glen Camenzuli, Kurt Lunney, Lewis Collocott, Andrew Robinson and Darryl Hookey) and two from Clinton (Marko Radovanovic and Andrew Thomson) were selected for the 17-day tour after impressing with Central Queensland at representative level.
Goalkeeper Radovanovic was involved in the tour as a 15-year-old and is going back again.
Camenzuli and Lunney are expected to line-up in defence, while Robinson and Hookey offer versatility with their ability to play in defence and the midfield.
Collocott is a central midfielder with a wide range of passing ability and Thomson will line-up as striker.
Six of the seven, Lunney the exception, have been regular members of their club's Gladstone first division teams this season.
The tour includes matches against the academy sides of England's top clubs such as Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United along with coaching sessions under the guidance of Manchester United and Rangers top coaches.
On top of that, the seven Gladstone players will take time out to watch live matches from the English and Scottish Premier Leagues and visit old London town and the National Football Museum.
All seven were looking forward to the tour and all said it would be the tour of a lifetime.
The tour departs on November 25. The high number of Gladstone representatives has forced the Gladstone and District Junior Soccer Association to abandon its past practice of presenting each of the players with $300 to assist with costs ? instead offering a reduced amount.
The players' families have had to look elsewhere for additional funds to help meet the costs of touring the UK.