On Friday 14th June, one manager, one coach, 14 boys, eight dads and one grandad set off from a very wet Ruddington for the experience of their lives playing international football for Ruddington Colts U13s in France. After lots of “are we nearly there yets,” we all arrived in a hot and sunny Grenay, and got settled.
We entered two Ruddington teams, so it was a surprise that it turned out to be an 8-a-side tournament and not 7-a-side – a case of “lost in translation!” Our French hosts were really understanding though, and several of the boys doubled up and played for both Ruddington teams.
The boys had a great day but were very tired after the journey, our very early start and playing lots of back-to-back matches.
Day Two was another gorgeous day and after an early night, the boys were refreshed and raring to go for another long day of football, football and more football. Again, we doubled up and scored lots of goals. Out of eight matches played, we won five, drew two and lost one. We even managed that great English tradition of losing a penalty shootout!
The team represented the Club and the village of Ruddington in an amazing way, making us all proud as they left with a couple of trophies and lots of big smiles.
The French hospitality was outstanding throughout and the team spirit between all the teams was clear to see. The chairman of the AG Grenay football team finished the weekend in style by playing the English and French national anthems at the presentation ceremony and buying all the dads a beer.
We’d like to thank everyone who made this trip possible and supported us in our fundraising to get the boys to France.
Particular “Thank yous” go to all the boys’ parents along with Ann Dunston, Darrell Pearce, Ruddington Parish Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Ruddington Village Colts, The White Horse Inn, Ruddington Fish Bar, J D Plumbing, Thomas James, Morrisons supermarket in Clifton, The Groom Inn, Kev’s Van Rentals. And, of course, everyone who sponsored the boys for their 5k run, had their car washed or bags packed for them by the team.
Rich Taylor, Ruddington Colts U13s Manager