As part of a partnership Skem North JFC have got with a Club in Germany, the Skem North U14s will be attending an international football tournament in the District of Erkrath, which, as many of you will know, is twinned with West Lancashire.
The visit to Germany will be the first of many, as plans are in place to make these U14s trips a regular part of the Skem North calendar, something that every Skem North player can look forward to, when he gets to U14s age.
In return players from Germany will visit Skem North, either for the Skem North tournament or at a different time of the year, probably starting from 2015. The aim of this partnership is to broaden the player’s horizon and hopefully initiate some friendships over borders over the next few years.
Even though this is the first Skem North visit to Germany, the friendship between the clubs dates back many years to one of the predecessor clubs of Skem North and visits have taken place sporadically between the two clubs for many years.
In fact, one of today’s Skem North managers has experienced the trip as a player more than 10 years ago.
Now Skem North are aiming to get the U14s to visit every year, which will be funded by the club, through different fundraisers, enabling everyone to go, whatever their financial background, a real team spirit forming trip.
The next fundraiser for the trip in June will be a stall in the ASDA foyer on May 10, and if you happen to pass it would be great if you could contribute a bit of spare change for this representation of Skelmersdale and West Lancashire in Europe.
The project has certainly caught the eye of the Bert Trautmann Foundation. Bert Trautmann used to be a German goalkeeper for St Helens Town and Manchester City in the 1950s, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 89.
Bert Trautmann, being a German, who played most his football in England, set up the foundation to support English/German football exchanges.
The Trautmann Foundation are contributing financially to this year’s trip, to get the yearly arrangement off the ground.
Skem North JFC are very grateful for their support, as it does really kick start the project.
Mark Trautmann, Bert’s son, will meet players and representatives of the club in the near future.
If you would like to follow the progress of the Skem North JFC U14s, current Champions of the Skelmersdale U14s league, in Europe see www.skemnorth.com for more information.
The international tournament in Germany will take place between June 6 and 8 near Dusseldorf.