Barry youngsters step out on hallowed turf at Cardiff City!
TEAM ALLIANCE: the Holton Road Academy coaching team and players, with (back right) Gary Wilmot of the Cardiff City Community Foundation.
A YOUNG Barry football team enjoyed their moment in the spotlight - when they took to the pitch at the Cardiff City Stadium!
The four- to six-year-old players from Holton Road Academy U6s wowed the 20,000-strong crowd at half-time in the Bluebirds' home game against Hull on Saturday (November 10).
Their stadium debut was part of the Championship club's Half Time Stars Matchday Packages, through which the Cardiff City Community Foundation welcome teams to the ground.
The boys began their big day with an hour of coaching at the CCFC House of Sport, working on their skills, with a game of football to finish.
They were then taken to the stadium, had a photograph session in the dugout, and watched an enjoyable first half which saw Cardiff go 1-0 up - before running onto the hallowed turf for their own ten-minute match.
They entertained the supporters with a five-a-side game, showing off some top skills and scoring some very good goals.
The crowd cheered each goal, and the boys responded by doing the ayatollah - the trademark celebration of CCFC fans!
Matchday Co-ordinator for Cardiff City Community Foundation, Gary Wilmot said: "The boys showed excellent skills and behaviour and were a credit to their coaches."
The Holton Road Academy has been together for nearly two years, but the youngsters are yet to play a competitive match.
Coaches Mike Jenkins, Antonino Zeraschi, Ben Gould and Lyndon Davies said 'proud' wasn't a strong enough word to describe how they felt.
Head coach Mike said: "It was one of the best days of my life, one of the proudest!
"I feel on top of the world watching my team play and score on the same pitch as my heroes. I was a tad jealous as well!"
Dad and coach Antonino said it had been 'an experience of a lifetime'.
"I am so proud of the boys," he added.
"Hopefully it will be the start of an annual Holton Road event, and we will see them in 15 years playing on the same pitch - but this time wearing the kit of Cardiff City or Wales!"
Fellow dad and coach Lyndon said: "Seeing my son score the opener was brilliant. "Wouldn't it be great if this wasn't the last time they play in front of a huge crowd?"
Ben added: "To see them enjoy the day was amazing. The work everyone has put into the team has really paid off."
Holton Road Academy would like to thank sponsors Marco's Cafe for the continued support.
For more information on Matchday Packages at Cardiff City, email email@example.com
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
* Thomas Zeraschi, five, said: "I had a great day because I am also a Cardiff fan, especially when the crowd cheered when I scored both my goals."
* Will Kellaway, five, said: "It was lots of fun. I felt like a real footballer and want to do it all over again!"
* Joseff Jones, six, said: "To score a goal on the City pitch was awesome. The whole day was something I will never forget."
* Tom J Davies, five, said: "It was great fun and I enjoyed saving the two goals. I want to do it again."
* Harry Hutton, five, said: "I had butterflies in my tummy walking on, and felt like a famous footballer!" Harry's dad thanked all the coaches for organising a fantastic day.