Barnsley Football Club’s Academy are currently on tour in Malta, not only as part of their pre-season preparations but to also enlighten them culturally as individuals.
Shaun Selby, Barnsley Football Club's Recruitment Officer, said: "This is a Social Mobility Project which provides not only a footballing experience, but a cultural experience as well.
"We've got two cultural visits on Malta itself and its partner island Gozo and the young scholars are taking up a number of language workshops as part of the experience."
The trip is fully funded by the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme - which funds practical projects in the field of vocational education and training - the young experienced a blend of footballing and cultural activities.
Academy Manager Ronnie Branson told Barnsley Player, “It’s been intense. Two sessions a day to start off and then into the games programme. The lads bond together work hard together and eat together. It’s been good.
“They’ve found it difficult at times. We train early morning and late evenings. It is quiet sapping and intense. We’ve got to be careful because some of the lads have come from the school environment to become professional athletes.
“We played Luxol Academy and won 4-0 - the first time this current crop of players have played together. We’re not here for results but it’s nice to get a win under our belts.
“I think the beauty of playing in places like Malta, geographically you’ve got a good cross-section of people out here. We’re playing against different types of players and the way they want to keep the ball is great for us to play against so we can learn from that and we can take that home.
“One of the things the young lads find difficult is when they have downtime, it’s getting them used to going to their rooms and relaxing. It puts them in good stead as and when they make it as a professional.”
You can find out more about the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme by visitinghttp://www.leonardo.org.uk/