A junior football team from Dinnington are off to Italy during half-term to play in a tournament there for the second time in three years.
Dinnington Town U13s, who were an U11 side last time they travelled to the country, will take part in an event in Campodoro featuring teams from across the Padua region.
As with the last trip, they will be the only non-Italian team present, a scenario created by the partner of team coach Adrian Knight being from the region and the family regularly visiting relatives there. They previously befriended a local resident who is involved in junior football and the partnership was formed.
Adrian said: “Last time we had financial support from the parish council but on this occasion we’ve raised money for the trip through various fundraising activities. The children have only had to contribute £50 each.
“The players did some bag packing at Morrisons in Worksop and Tesco in Dinnington and we’d like to thank both stores for their help.
“We also did a sponsored walk at Anston Stones, all of which helped raise the £3,500 needed to fly 36 people out there and for their accommodation.”
Around 50 teams from varying age groups will take part in the tournament, with Adrian hoping for a similar reception to the last time they visited.
He said: “It was a great experience. They had a union jack flag flying, played our national anthem and everyone clapped us off at the end and the players even ended up swapping shirts, the downside being that we had to fork out £450 for a new kit when we got home!
“It’s a great cultural experience for them. Last time we sent them out to play football at a local park and found them playing alongside a load of Italian kids and conversing with each other via their phones as they were using Google Translate.
“We’ll be staying at agriturismo accommodation which means the kids will be able to be self sufficient and make their own food and so on, which all adds to the experience.
“The place we’re staying is off the beaten track with no real tourism so it’s a pretty unique trip.”
The squad are currently looking for players to join up with the team for next season.
Anyone interested can contact Adrian Knight on 07581 018674.