Young football fanatics from Wearside are set for a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to play at one of the world’s top stadia next month.
Five youngsters and their families have been selected to spend four days in Italy as guests of AC Milan, after impressing in a summer football camp at Monkwearmouth Academy.
The boys will take to the pitch at half-time of Milan’s clash with Lazio in Serie A at the world-famous San Siro, which seats up to 80,000 people.
They will play a friendly game on the pitch, while they will also train with the Italian club’s coaches at the Milanello training base, meet Milan legend Franco Baresi and have a tour of the San Siro.
The lucky lads are Bradley Chisholm, of Monkwearmouth Academy, and Dominic McCabe, Anthony Nichol, Sam Field and Vinnie Owens, who attend Redby Primary Academy.
They were invited out to Italy by the Milan coaches who oversaw last August’s football camp, which was organised by the club in association with Azzurri Sports Management.
For the families to be able to watch our boys on the pitch at half-time in the San Siro stadium is going to be the proudest moment of our livesChristine Owens
Of the 140 youngsters who attended the camp, they were the only five to be chosen, and they were selected for their footballing ability, as well as attitude on and off the field.
Christine Owens, mum of Vinnie, 10, says seeing her son take to the San Siro pitch will be the proudest moment of her life.
She said: “The boys are extremely excited, as this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“For the families to be able to watch our boys on the pitch at half-time in the San Siro stadium is going to be the proudest moment of our lives. I’m sure there will be plenty of tears.
“We’re so proud that the coaches not only chose them because of their talent, but also because of their great attitude towards others.
“We’re all really grateful to Carl Dunn, from Azzurri Sports Management, for all of his help and advice. We wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t for him.”
The boys will be alongside children from all over the world in Milan after flying out on March 18, and will take part in training and tournaments throughout their stay.