|Lower Maze Under 11s before their tour match.||The Lower Maze boys meet up with Premier League star Frazier Campbell.|
MEMBERS of Lower Maze FC set off on a weekend break to Sunderland recently that proved to be a great weekend for the boys.
The under J1 and under 12 teams, along with coaches and parents enjoyed an eventful weekend.
After a long journey that started in the early hours of the Friday morning from the Lisburn Omniplex the Lower Maze party arrived in Sunderland in the evening and after dinner in their hotel they were met by a member of Rhyhope CW FC .
Rhyhope CW FC where formed by the collier workers in Sunderland in the 1890s and are the second oldest established club in Sunderland, behind only Sunderland themselves. Rhyhope made the Maze boys very welcome at their clubhouse on the Friday evening.
The Saturday morning was to see Lower Maze play Rhyhope CW in two friendly matches and Rhyhope had managed to arrange for these to be played on Sunderland's Stadium of Light Academy pitches.
A venue even the Rhyhope boys have never had the privilege to play on.
In two close encounters, Lower Maze played well but lost out to the local Sunderland boys. A penalty kick competition was won by Lower Maze's Josh Gibson.
|Enjoying the tour of Newcastle United's St. James Park.||Lower Maze Under 12s captain Jack Snoddy with Rhyope captain 01lie Bennett, son of former Sundertand captain Gary Bennett.||Pierce Hughes Lower Maze Under 12s Man of the match.|
After the games it was all back to Rhyhope's Clubhouse where they had kindly laid on refreshments and lunch for the Maze boys. Trophies where handed out to the man of the match for each team in each match with Rhyhope's coaches and parents picking who they thought was Lower Mazes player of the day, with Taylor Lee Bradley receiving the under 11 award, Pierce Hughes the under 12 and Josh Gibson for the Penalty kicks. Lower Maze presented the Sunderland man of the match with Northern Ireland shirts. The boys then enjoyed the atmosphere of the Premier League match Sunderland against Burnley at the Stadium of Light. Many of the excited boys stayed around with the coaches at the end of the game and were able to get autographs and photos with most of the players including England forward Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell, Kweyne Jones, Chris Eagles and many more.
On Sunday the boys travelled to Newcastle for a tour of the magnificent St. James Park before the long journey home. Many friends have been made on the trip and it is hope this is the start of a good relationship and connection between Lower Maze and Rhyhope CW.
The Coaches of Lower Maze thank all at Rhyhope for their great hospitality, Colin Edgar Contracts for sponsoring the boys hoodie tops and the boys of Lower Maze for there excellent behaviour and conduct throughout the weekend. And a special thanks to Uel and Lucy Faulkner for all the work they put in to organising the trip. Due to the continued Development within Lower Maze FC , the club are currently looking for coaches and players, especially players born in 1999, 2000 and2001. If you would like to try out for Lower Maze go to www.lowermaze.org.uk and contact the relevant coach for your age group . If you wish to join the coaching staff within Lower Maze please contact Toni Portis via the web-site.