It’s not every day children can play football with Premier League stars but it certainly was the case for four Brighton College students last week, who got the opportunity to compete against some of Manchester City’s top players as part of an Abu Dhabi tourism project.
City fans Oscar Cannon, James Parker, Joseph Lewis and Alejandro Lonsor were the lucky boys to be chosen after (Abu Dhabi) Ritz- Carlton general manager asked Brighton College if they wanted to be involved in the project.
City stars Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and James Milner were among the squad members that travelled to the UAE capital for a friendly against Hamburg as part of the first year anniversary celebrations of Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
And they took time out before that encounter to participate in the filmed project on the Ritz-Carlton beach. The students played a short 10-minute match against the four Premier League players which ended 3-3, and got the opportunity to go home with autographs and photographs to remember the event.
While the students were only with the players for 30 minutes, it certainly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Cannon said: “It was sensational playing with the Manchester City players.
Not only are they excellent footballers but they were also good fun to play with. “I will remember this experience forever and will never stop going on about it to my friends and family.”
Simon Crane, director of sport at Brighton College, who travelled with the students to the Ritz-Carlton, said: “It was all arranged lastminute but it was simply amazing. The players were really friendly and they engaged with the students.
"They spoke about football, their preparations for the FA Cup match against Middlesbrough and the weather because like England it was very cold in the city.”
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