Barcelona, Liverpool footballers clash at university
SOUTHERN Cross University hosted a clash between two of world sports' biggest names with junior players from the Liverpool FC International Academy in Lismore playing a series of friendly matches against Brisbane's Barcelona Academy Australia.
Hundreds of players and parents descended upon the university's Southern Cross Football Centre on Sunday, supporting 15 sides in five divisions from 8-9 years to 14 years.
Lismore academy general manager Scott Collis said it was a day where new friendships were made.
"It was fantastic to host such a professional club,” Collis said.
"Everyone from the 'Barca' academy - the players, coaches and parents - were wonderful ambassadors and we hope this first visit leads to greater friendship between our programs in the future.”
The work done in Lismore at Australia's only Liverpool FC academy is about much more than football with coaches and staff also focussing on life skills to help the region's best young players be successful wherever their path leads in the future.
"The Barcelona academy shares similar values so we hope this visit will lead to more interaction for our players and coaches sharing knowledge and experiences,” Collis said.
The Barcelona academy's local project director for Brisbane, Taher Mortezaie, was also very positive about the day.
"It was great to spend the whole day together with the Liverpool FC International Academy at Southern Cross University,” he said.
"In the end football is about having fun, developing and exchanging experiences - that is what I believe we all did on the day.”
Now in its third season competing in the Gold Coast Junior Premier League, the Lismore academy fields six sides in boys and girls and is making plans already for another big year in 2020.