So, how was Manchester?
Aaron: It was raining. It rained every day I think for the whole two weeks!
But did you enjoy the soccer school?
Muiz: We played football every day apart from weekends.
Arjun: We trained for three hours in the morning and then we had lunch and then we did some theory in the classroom. Then we trained some more. It was brilliant!
Sanmai: It’s a world-class academy with world-class coaches. We couldn’t miss a chance like this.
It sounds exhausting! What did you learn?
Daniel: We learnt techniques and skills like dribbling and passing, as well as discipline. It’s really important to get up early and to get to sleep early.
Kenneth: And we got taught how to do stopovers and fake passes. We learnt lots of the tricks that the Manchester United players use. We know all their secrets!
Did you get to see Old Trafford?
Aaron: That was my favourite bit! The stadium was huge, but the pitch was smaller than I thought it would be.
Kenneth: When we stepped onto the pitch we really felt like we were playing for Manchester United.
What else did you see?
Muiz: We went to Wembley Stadium. Did you know that it’s famous for having the most number of toilets per spectator? Er, I didn’t, no. How many does it have?
Are you football crazy?
Vyom: Yes. I play every single day. Usually twice a day, sometimes three times.
Aaron: At school we have morning practice, then physical education, then we have afternoon self-improvement classes where we can choose our sport. We all choose football!
Mohit: And we play when we get home from school, too. In the park and with our friends.
Vyom: Our school team was supposed to go to Delhi for the Subuteo Cup but it was cancelled because of swine flu. We would have missed exams, too.
And that would’ve been a good thing?
Vyom: (Sighs) Yeah…
Daniel Michael, 14; Vyom Richharia, 13; Mohit Chowdhry, 13; Sanmai Aidoor, 11; Mateen Ahmed, 13; Arjun Balu, 12; Muiz Ahmed, 11; Kenneth Singh, 12; Aaron Serrao, 10.