Oldham Athletic Academy will finally head out to Portugal this week after the last two trips were postponed because of Covid-19.
Through the Erasmus+ programme, in conjunction with Ecorys, the youngsters will fly to Portugal for two weeks tomorrow (Wednesday 8th) to help further their development during the 2021/22 season.
A trip which has become a usual part of the academy programme since 2014, the funding gained from Erasmus+ for a mini tour will offer an extensive training, games, education and cultural programme.
Visiting Browns Sport and Leisure facility in Vilamoura it has a fantastic reputation with excellent facilities to match and is something that will benefit those travelling using the power of football and education with fixtures arranged against teams in Portugal, including giants Sporting Lisbon.
With team bonding, downtime and sightseeing planned, there will be a visit to the big game between Sporting and Porto ensuring new learnings and experiences are made in a different environment.
"There are so many benefits to this trip, it’s a fantastic experience on and off the pitch for everyone involved.
"I felt it was important to go now to try and maximise the potential of this talented group of players, as it can be a platform for the remainder of the season. It’s a shame some can’t make the trip but ultimately it’s about getting them into our first team, so it’s great they are ahead of schedule being involved so early on in their scholarship.
"Having some U16’s with us will allow us to get to know them more and give them a real opportunity to impress us ahead of a potential scholarship that they are all competing for. The chance to train in top facilities and play against Sporting Lisbon and Portimonense will provide a great test for our lads and allow us to work on a few things."
The youth team will return towards the end of the month ahead of facing Bolton in the second group game of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup, league fixtures against Rochdale and Carlisle have been subsequently rescheduled for later in the season. For dates on future games, please click here.
The squad travelling will include a mixture of first and second year scholars plus some U16s. Other players are missing out due to injury still, with the likes of Benny Couto and Harry Vaughan kept behind as part of their continued training and selection with the first team.