Coaches from Bolton Wanderers Football Club are currently in the United States to take part in the APC Premier Cup tournament.
A delegation of coaches, led by Danny Clarke of the club’s International Football Programme, are showcasing their expertise during the competition which will be held in Washington DC and feature more than 250 teams aged 11-16 from the US and Canada.
Wanderers have forged a link with EPL Sports to organise the trip - a company which already works with Reading, Fulham, QPR, West Ham and Everton and have been impressed with what they have seen so far.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Clarke said, “Our main objective is to give players the experience of being in a professional football club environment.
“We want to get the Bolton Wanderers name out there and to work with EPL Sports Tours to get teams coming back and look at what we have got here.
“But beyond that, if we make a selection through Sport-11, which is the company who set up the tournament, we might have the cream of the crop coming to Bolton for a tour in August.
“Regardless though, we want all those guests going away and saying they enjoyed being here.”
Barrie Love of EPL Sports also spoke regarding the relationship between his organisation and Wanderers, adding, “The Whites Hotel is a great environment for teams to come because coaches, players and chairmen walk around and interact with people so you feel like you are part of a football club when you are here.
“We want players to sample the experience, train with the academy boys, watch a game and go into the cities around like Manchester and Liverpool. If one or two of them are good enough, maybe they stay on for a bit longer, or come back.”
The International Football Programme has become an important part of the football club in the last 12 months, with chairman Ken Anderson thrilled with what has gone before and what the future could hold.
“The programme is continually growing and we’re attracting a lot of new business,” he said. “We have the Qatar and Estonia national teams coming over in the next couple of months to stay with us.
“People behind the scenes are working really hard to get this done against great competition from other local teams. They are getting the recognition that their hard work has deserved.
“This part of the business, both from a commercial side and from the hotel side, is bringing in a significant amount. The team at the hotel are obviously doing a good job because people keep coming back.
“We had the Germany Under-21 team here a few months ago, and we all know they are extremely selective on which facilities they use to prepare for games.”
The IFP has already welcomed visitors from all over the world including Australia, China, the United States, Canada, Nigeria, Sweden, Germany, Italy and the Republic of Ireland as well as providing training camps.
For more information on the programme, please visit their Twitter page @BWIntFootball or Facebook page, BWFCIFP