Development Festival

IT is most kids’ dream to play on the hallowed turf at Wembley or the Camp Nou.

And it’s one that can be fulfilled at the Goals’ football centre in Plymouth.

In fact each of the 12 5-a-side pitches at the centre are named after famous football stadia, allowing youngsters to play at some of the world’s most recognised venues.
The arena played host to a large children’s event during the October half-term holiday organised by a member of the coaching staff from the Pilgrims' academy.

Phil Stokes, who is a technical development coach at Argyle, working with 5-11 year olds, was over seeing the occasion which brought together children that regularly attend their local development centres across the region.

Watched on by a number of proud parents, the festival saw teams from five different centres across the county play each other in mini-tournaments across two days.

Phil explained a bit more about the event.

He said: “We’ve got players here from five development centres across the region – Exeter, Chivenor, Paignton, Plymouth advanced development centre and Plymouth long-term player development.

“We’ve set up a two-day festival where the children can test their skills against each other.”

The first day saw the 8, 9 and 10-year olds face each other with the second day playing host to the older age group of 11, 12 and 13-year old players.

“The sessions run from 10-3pm and we have separated the teams into different groups, which is just a bit of fun for them during the half-term holidays.”

The event proved popular with approximately 120 children attending over the course of the two days and each team was managed by a member of the development centre staff from Argyle.

Ultimately, it was an activity for the children to enjoy but they also had the opportunity to impress members of the Argyle youth development team and maybe one day they will be gracing the pitch at the Wembley Stadium for real.