In 1998, England football manager Glenn Hoddle chose La Manga Club resort as a training destination for his side’s pre-World Cup preparations. The facilities were so good that the national team returned again in 2003. The resort has also welcomed Premier League stalwarts, Liverpool and Chelsea, who travelled to enjoy the eight FIFA international standard grass pitches on offer. But basking in the Spanish sunshine at La Manga Club isn’t reserved for millionaire footballers – the southern coastal resort welcomes families who want to experience the ultimate football holiday.
The Norwegian F.A. and the Norwegian Professional Football League make use of La Manga Clubs world class football centre for tournaments and pre season preparations.
The coaching opportunities afforded to children from the age of 3 to 18 place La Manga Club resort in a field of its own. One of the strong selling points is the FIFA/UEFA qualified coaches in residence who are as happy coaching beginners as they are coaching seasoned internationals.
The Junior Football Academy is structured in such a way as to allow all ages and abilities to take full advantage of the facilities and coaching on offer. Children aged three to five years old are able to spend up to one hour each morning learning skills such as: touch work and the ability to use both feet, passing and control, dribbling, basic turns, and shooting and attacking. Each session culminates in a 5-a-side practice game, giving children an opportunity to apply their new skills in a game situation.
For children aged between six and nine, longer 90 minute sessions are held. These sessions focus on more advanced skills and look at principles of the game, as well as educating children on their positional play. These sessions end with a practice game. This is also the case for those who are aged from 10 years old up to 16, with some variation depending on the child’s ability.
Older children, starting at 13, can visit The Advanced Academy. This serves teenagers up to 18 and includes a one hour morning fitness session in conjunction with a 90 minute session focusing on technical work. During the months of July and August, La Manga Club runs goalkeeping courses, but outside of these months, individual sessions can be attended. Less structured programmes exist for children who would like to play football during their holiday but don’t want to take part in the Football Academy. ‘Mini World Cup’ tournaments take place daily (excluding Sundays) for boys and girls aged seven to 16 years old.
The resort is a Mecca for sport enthusiasts. Football is just one of the well-facilitated sports at La Manga, which boasts a number of high class activities, from golfing on the exceptionally maintained greens to walking among the beautiful vistas, which act as more than a backdrop for the Club’s idyllic milieu. The Mar Menor is Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon; it covers an area of around 180 square kilometres. Mar Menor has everything you need for water sports with great weather and warm, shallow waters. It is considered one of Europe’s best watersports destinations.