Football stars see the world



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A GROUP of Central Queensland football players have joined one of the English Premier League's most memorable moments on this month's Football Queensland tour of the United Kingdom.

Sitting rugged up in the stands of Old Trafford the starry-eyed Central Queensland players joined a minute's silence before the Manchester United and Portsmouth game to honour the late George Best ? one of England's football heros of yesteryear.

That day they also heard the words of the great Bobby Charlton deliver Best's praises.

It was just one aspect of an intriguing tour of England and Scotland for the group of 15 and 16-yearolds invited on the annual tour.

Of course the drastic weather change was one of the big tests playing in minus 3 degrees Celcius and snow. Players had to buy new boots and gloves were a necessity.

Rockhampton's Ashley Porter, of Bluebirds United, was named player of the tour for his efforts at centre back.

"It really motivates you and I just want to keep going now,'' said Porter, who returned from the 17-day tour earlier in the week.

Cap Coast player Mark McPyke admitted the cold took some getting used to but if he had to play in those conditions all the time it would be worth it.

"It would be better playing there (UK) for the money,'' McPyke said.

The group played eight games, for no wins, against some of the League's potential stars of the future.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Hearts, Leeds and Everton youth teams were among their opponents, along with Scotland's under17 national team.

"It was a lot quicker and their skills are very developed,'' McPyke said.

McPyke had a glimpse of what else the football world can offer and he wants more ? whether that be as a player or in a coaching role.

The touring party had to represent their region at the State titles before gaining UK tour selection.



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