By SSgt Jay Essam, 4 RIFLES
AFC Bournemouth (AFCB) visited 4 RIFLES on Tue 7 Jul 15 as part of their player development scheme and received a military experience day.
The overall aim of the visit was for the AFCB Academy Team (aged range 16-18 years) to develop and experience the discipline and structure that the Army provides.
Mr Joe Roach and his coaching team of 5 and squad of 23 arrived in Ward Barracks, Bulford, ready to learn, develop and enhance their ability and experience from what proved to be an enjoyable and educational day.
The Squad had an action packed day. They were given 4 leader and leaderless tasks working in groups of 3 up to groups of 12, which varied from theoretical to practical tasks, which they undertook in good spirits. They really got to grips with some difficult challenges.
These proved extremely worthwhile for the psychological analysis – which on more than one occasion added a bit of humour. A spot of drill followed and as with all military tasks, drill plays a large part in the discipline, uniformity and pride that is instilled into all soldiers.
Throughout the drill the players learned and enjoyed the new experience albeit in the rain! Drill isn’t drill if it isn’t raining.
After a break for lunch the players and staff went onto the training area a received 4 ‘green’ lessons headed up by Cpl Danny Goodall and 6 other 4 RIFLES football players. These lessons were camouflage and concealment, introduction into weapon systems, skirmishing and observation. All players got involved and had a great time.
The weapons stands proved most popular with many questions being raised with players after which they got ‘cammed’ up (by application of camouflage cream onto the face and hands) and put into practice what they were taught. They all went off in small groups to finish the day with a RIFLES tradition of ‘skirmishing’.
This event proved to be extremely worthwhile, not just for the players to experience an ‘outside the box’ day but also for 4 RIFLES to strike up a key relationship with a Premier League Football Club for future engagements to develop both sets of players. The day ended with photographs, and after an exchange of plaques the AFCB Academy Team left with a smile on their faces – and a good amount of ‘Cam Cream’!
The visit left me with a great sense of pride in that the players involved experienced a varied day during which they may have learned some skills to take away anduse in their futures careers as potential professional football players.