Ironsides u10s sent two squads of 12 players each to Valladolid, Spain to take part in a two day tournament..
Training for the tour on the all new All Weather Surface (AWS)
From the tour...
They emerged with a brace of trophies, some new friends and some fine memories. To Darran Goodwin and Steve Barnes, who made it all happen, and to their hosts, VRAC, the leading Spanish club team, the u10s would like to express their thanks for the marvellous reception and superb itinerary throughout the tour. The rest, alas must remain undocumented, as 'what goes on tour, stays on tour’.
There was this though, from a local Spanish newspaper:
Surgical Strike by ‘Ironsides’ Tanks in Valladolid, Spain (4-7th April, 2018)
Reports are emerging of a recent incursion by two ‘super tanks’ into the Spanish Heartland city of Valladolid. Dubbed by the local media as ‘Churchill’ and ‘Cromwell’ the tanks were full of London youths estimated to be 9 or 10 years old, describing themselves (repeatedly) as the ‘Mighty, Mighty Ironsides’, preempting any enquiries as to who they were and where they might have come from.
Accompanying these terrifying ‘Ironsiders’, to direct and motivate them, manage their finances and disputes, generally talk nonsense (but convincingly), tape up their hurty fingers, make sure they got to bed by midnight and, if all else failed, administer sugar, was an extensive entourage of professionals: bankers, fund managers, recruiters, technologists, business men, a legal team, a hair dresser, an American and even a woman.
On the field of battle each tank of young Ironsiders quickly overwhelmed groups of French renegades (on day-release from the Foreign Legion) but with spirits and confidence too high, careened into brigades from El Salvador - aliens from a different age (group), muscled, moustachioed, monstrous, and at their heart a sorceress who could bewitch her adversary with a look, a glint, a dart... leaving the brave lads chasing shadows.
Shocked, bowed but undeterred, erupting with character and resilience, the Ironsiders spied the mighty VRAC, Spanish champions, on the horizon. This was the crown the warriors had come to steal. The ensuing battles were long and arduous, conducted with controlled ferocity, skill and cunning and as the afternoon waned the two tanks emerged victorious. Battered, tired, but still proud, the VRAC showed great competitiveness and humility offering to mix the forces and tussle once more. The battle was once again legendary...
The ‘Ironsiders’ and their entourage reportedly ransacked the city of Valladolid, leaving nothing for the locals but a tortilla, a side of jamon, half a bottle of Lemoncillo, and as much salad as they wanted (and also that slightly weird egg and mushroom dish). They desecrated a local golf course by kicking large, oval shaped balls into make-shift baskets on the greens, and practised the ancient art of rolling rocks at groups of 10 sticks stuck vertically from the ground like pins.
[The American was caught igniting sticks of dynamite amongst his ‘pins’ while shouting ‘yippee-kay-yay MF’. It must be noted that this and other such heinous crimes were dealt with fairly and efficiently in a make-shift court, constructed and staffed by the highly effective and professional legal team.]
After the ‘Ironsiders’ sudden and unexpected departure into a blizzard of enemy fire on Monday 7th April, the locals emerged cautiously from their shelters to count the cost of the incursion. Though short of essential provisions (food, alcohol, ‘pop’, VRAC tunics) they found their city also to be lacking a certain ebullience, flair and camaraderie, and wondered if their assailants might return one day to do battle again (and maybe take down those El Salvadorans once and for all)…
The highly-justified ‘best player’ award
..and finally a tour video!!
2002 - Treviso Tour
2006 - Road to Rouen
2009 - Final Game for Ironsides
2017 - Back Home with Marcus
2017 - Living with the Pride
2006 - Set Piece
2008 - U14 @ Centre
2016 - Funday Awards
2017 - On the Plane
2017 - Facing the Press