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Football mad boy plays at famous Real Madrid Bernabéu stadium

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YOUNG Melksham footballer Riley Bryant, aged 10, took the trip of a lifetime as he won the chance to play at Real Madrid’s famous Bernabéu stadium. 

Riley, who is a pupil at Bowerhill Primary School and a member of Melksham Football Club, was a winner in a selection process to find the most talented young footballers across the country. 

In order to be chosen for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Riley spent a week training with the Real Madrid training academy in Corsham in August 2018 at Corsham Football Club. He was one of 50 other young footballers fighting for a selection place. 

At the end of the week, he was chosen as the winner to go through to the next stage in London in December, to compete against 48 other young English footballers who had been picked from over a thousand applicants from around the country.  

Riley and four other boys were then chosen as the winners for the prize of a trip to Madrid to play in the Bernabéu stadium, home to international stars like Eden Hazard, Luka Modrić and Gareth Bale.

On Friday the 5th July, Riley flew to Madrid with his mother and her partner and his grandparents to stay for two days at a hotel with the Real Madrid coaches and 48 young footballers from several different countries in Europe. 

On arrival, he was presented with a full Real Madrid kit including boots, jacket and water bottle before they then were put into teams for a tournament the next day.

At the stadium, he had the privilege of changing in the main changing room, with  his place being that of Real Madrid’s central midfielder, Luka Modrić, winner of the Golden Ball as the best player of the 2018 World Cup,

Riley’s mother, Jay, told Melksham News,  “Riley’s granddad and I bought him the Corsham training camp for his birthday, not realising that it was a competition, so it was a shock when they told us he had won! 

“When we got to Madrid, Riley was really nervous, he is quite a shy boy but really excited. He is absolutely football mad. He met all of the other winners on the Friday night but there was a bit of a language barrier between them all, so they just awkwardly smiled at each other for most of the first night. 

“On the Saturday, the children were taught by a professional freestyler, then they were put into teams and had a tournament at the Real Madrid training pitch. In the evening, we all went together to a Mexican restaurant organised by the club. It was great because the children sat and ate for about 15 minutes before they were all out the front of the restaurant playing football together, it helped them to bond.

“The next day we got a bus to the Bernabéu. It was amazing because they set it up for the children exactly how it would be for the professionals. They changed in the main changing rooms, ran out on to the pitch to music and the atmosphere was amazing. All the families were there watching as they played another tournament. We had a great time! 

“Now, if you were to ask Riley what his favourite part was he would say the breakfast! Riley is coeliac, so it isn’t often that he gets to eat much in buffets but they are much better with gluten intolerances over in Madrid, so he was given a huge gluten free baguette to eat. He also experienced his first ever Burger King because they offer gluten free rolls! 

“But the experience for him was great, getting to make lots of new friends and do something he absolutely loves.”

YOUNG Melksham footballer Riley Bryant, aged 10, took the trip of a lifetime as he won the chance to play at Real Madrid’s famous Bernabéu stadium. 

Riley, who is a pupil at Bowerhill Primary School and a member of Melksham Football Club, was a winner in a selection process to find the most talented young footballers across the country. 

In order to be chosen for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Riley spent a week training with the Real Madrid training academy in Corsham in August 2018 at Corsham Football Club. He was one of 50 other young footballers fighting for a selection place. 

At the end of the week, he was chosen as the winner to go through to the next stage in London in December, to compete against 48 other young English footballers who had been picked from over a thousand applicants from around the country.  

Riley and four other boys were then chosen as the winners for the prize of a trip to Madrid to play in the Bernabéu stadium, home to international stars like Eden Hazard, Luka Modrić and Gareth Bale.

On Friday the 5th July, Riley flew to Madrid with his mother and her partner and his grandparents to stay for two days at a hotel with the Real Madrid coaches and 48 young footballers from several different countries in Europe. 

On arrival, he was presented with a full Real Madrid kit including boots, jacket and water bottle before they then were put into teams for a tournament the next day.

At the stadium, he had the privilege of changing in the main changing room, with  his place being that of Real Madrid’s central midfielder, Luka Modrić, winner of the Golden Ball as the best player of the 2018 World Cup,

Riley’s mother, Jay, told Melksham News,  “Riley’s granddad and I bought him the Corsham training camp for his birthday, not realising that it was a competition, so it was a shock when they told us he had won! 

“When we got to Madrid, Riley was really nervous, he is quite a shy boy but really excited. He is absolutely football mad. He met all of the other winners on the Friday night but there was a bit of a language barrier between them all, so they just awkwardly smiled at each other for most of the first night. 

“On the Saturday, the children were taught by a professional freestyler, then they were put into teams and had a tournament at the Real Madrid training pitch. In the evening, we all went together to a Mexican restaurant organised by the club. It was great because the children sat and ate for about 15 minutes before they were all out the front of the restaurant playing football together, it helped them to bond.

“The next day we got a bus to the Bernabéu. It was amazing because they set it up for the children exactly how it would be for the professionals. They changed in the main changing rooms, ran out on to the pitch to music and the atmosphere was amazing. All the families were there watching as they played another tournament. We had a great time! 

“Now, if you were to ask Riley what his favourite part was he would say the breakfast! Riley is coeliac, so it isn’t often that he gets to eat much in buffets but they are much better with gluten intolerances over in Madrid, so he was given a huge gluten free baguette to eat. He also experienced his first ever Burger King because they offer gluten free rolls! 

“But the experience for him was great, getting to make lots of new friends and do something he absolutely loves.”

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