A GROUP of town students are gaining an insight into what life is like as an international footballer during a trip to the state-of-the-art national centre.
Youngsters on Dyke House Sports and Technology College’s elite development squad are spending the best part of a week at St George’s Park, in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
They have been stepping into the shoes of England’s internationals by making the most of the top-class facilities on offer at the National Football Centre.
As well as taking part in a masterclass delivered by four-time Olympic champion and 400m world record holder Michael Johnson’s performance company on Monday, Professional Football Association sessions were laid on for the school’s footballers, while the other students attempted a reaction challenge and got the chance to train in an altitude chamber. The 26 students then all enjoyed a hydrotherapy recovery session.
The budding sports stars then returned to the centre yesterday where they took part in sessions with the renowned SpirePerform, a sports science firm who work with a number of international athletes.
Danny Evans, the director of the elite development squad, said: “The trip will be excellent for the students.
“For them to get a taster of what it is like to spend time at St George’s Park will be great for their development.
“It’s an incredible place and hopefully when the students return they will all have taken something extra with them that they can use to move forward and progress.”
The squad, made up of 11-16 year-old students, also took the opportunity to visit nearby Loughborough University, also renowned for its sporting facilities and the number of world-class athletes it has produced over the years.
And the youngsters are set to return to St George’s Park today for strength and conditioning workouts and to play Futsal before another hydrotherapy session.
Mr Evans added: “This is the sort of half-term that will benefit all of the scholarship students as our staff will be spending five concentrated days working on various aspects of their progression and where better to go in England than St George’s Park and Loughborough University.
“If follows on from the October half-term when the students participated in a warm weather training camp in Torremolinos.”
St George’s Park was officially opened in October 2012 and is the training base for all of the England football teams.
This week the England Under-18s squad are at the national centre as well as Dyke House.