‘Chance of a lifetime’

Spurs, Watford on team’s itinerary.

Spurs, Watford on team’s itinerary.

ENGLAND-BOUND: Gisborne footballers Josh Adams (pictured) and Matt McVey (see the following picture in this gallery) are in a Pulse Football Academy side heading to the United Kingdom at the end of the month for a five-match tour, including games against Tottenham Hotspur and Watford age group teams. Pictures by Paul Rickard
Matt McVey (on the right).
All Blacks midfield back Sonny Bill Williams during the third rugby test match between the All Blacks and France, held at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin on Saturday. 23 June 2018 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Brett Phibbs.

Gisborne United player of the year Josh Adams and Lytton High School student Matt McVey are preparing for the football trip of a lifetime.

Striker Adams, 19, and midfielder McVey, 17, have been picked for the Pulse Football Academy 18-man squad to play seven games in England against age-group teams including English Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Watford.

“It’s an unbelievable trip,” said forestry quality controller Adams, who scored 32 goals, including seven hat-tricks, in 18 Pacific Premiership games this season.

Adams was watching the first State of Origin (Queensland v New South Wales rugby league series) game on June 6 when he got a call from Pulse academy director Paul Seaman, who takes a squad to England each year.

“Paul said he had heard good reports about how I was playing and offered me the chance to be part of his squad.

“It’s the chance of a lifetime . . . to play against players who are all trying to make it as professional footballers, something I’d love to do,” said the son of Gisborne couple Chris and Mollie Adams.

“It’s going to be a huge step up from what I’ve been playing but I can’t wait to get over there and play.”

McVey, the son of Peter and Megan and grandson of the late Duncan McVey, who played for New Zealand and scored two goals in a 4-1 win against New Caledonia in 1962, said he was nervous but excited.

“I had the chance to go last year, along with Riley McMenamin (former Campion College defender, now playing in Feilding).

“It was all too big of a rush time-wise but I told Paul I would love to go this year, and he contacted me to see if I was still interested,” said McVey, who played for Gisborne Thistle in the Pacific Premiership last year but decided to stick with Lytton in Gisborne’s Eastern League in 2018.

“As head boy I thought it was best to play for the school in my last year. We didn’t do so well but it was good to play with my mates.

“This trip is a bonus for me.”

Adams, a natural left-footer, said he owed his Player of the Year award and the chance to play in England to his Heavy Equipment Gisborne United team-mates.

“I couldn’t have the season I had —scoring goals and winning the club and league’s Golden Boot — if it wasn’t for the rest of the team. We had an awesome bunch of players this season and to come second in our first year in the Pacific Premiership was huge.”

Adam’s older brother Corey was the team’s player-coach and father Chris was manager and “sometimes” sub on the team sheet for away games.

Duncan McVey was a goal-scoring inside forward but his grandson prefers central midfield.

“You’re always involved in the play in midfield and I really enjoy that,” said McVey.

“I’d love to be a professional footballer in England but you need a British passport, and even though my father is eligible, I’m not.

“I’m looking at this trip as a stepping stone towards possibly becoming a professional here and then ultimately making the All Whites.

“It will be good to test myself against players who are similar in age but will have been playing a much higher standard.”

While looking forward to getting plenty of game time, Adams and McVey were unanimous in agreement that the game against Tottenham’s youth team would be the highlight.

“It’s going to be a great experience playing all these teams but playing Tottenham, who could have players with aspirations of making the first team in a few years, is going to be a real highlight,” said Adams.

Like McVey, Adams would love to make a living out of playing football.

“That’s the dream — that and playing for the All Whites.”

When McMenamin returned from England last year he said: “looking back I could have done better. I had been told it would be an eye-opener and it was; more than I ever imagined.”

  • The Pulse academy team’s itinerary — September 30, Crawley Town; October 3, Queens Park Rangers; Oct 4, Swindon Town; Oct 5, Ipswich; Oct 7, Watford; Oct 9, Colchester; Oct 10, Tottenham Hotspur. ​

Gisborne United player of the year Josh Adams and Lytton High School student Matt McVey are preparing for the football trip of a lifetime.

Striker Adams, 19, and midfielder McVey, 17, have been picked for the Pulse Football Academy 18-man squad to play seven games in England against age-group teams including English Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Watford.

“It’s an unbelievable trip,” said forestry quality controller Adams, who scored 32 goals, including seven hat-tricks, in 18 Pacific Premiership games this season.

Adams was watching the first State of Origin (Queensland v New South Wales rugby league series) game on June 6 when he got a call from Pulse academy director Paul Seaman, who takes a squad to England each year.

“Paul said he had heard good reports about how I was playing and offered me the chance to be part of his squad.

“It’s the chance of a lifetime . . . to play against players who are all trying to make it as professional footballers, something I’d love to do,” said the son of Gisborne couple Chris and Mollie Adams.

“It’s going to be a huge step up from what I’ve been playing but I can’t wait to get over there and play.”

McVey, the son of Peter and Megan and grandson of the late Duncan McVey, who played for New Zealand and scored two goals in a 4-1 win against New Caledonia in 1962, said he was nervous but excited.

“I had the chance to go last year, along with Riley McMenamin (former Campion College defender, now playing in Feilding).

“It was all too big of a rush time-wise but I told Paul I would love to go this year, and he contacted me to see if I was still interested,” said McVey, who played for Gisborne Thistle in the Pacific Premiership last year but decided to stick with Lytton in Gisborne’s Eastern League in 2018.

“As head boy I thought it was best to play for the school in my last year. We didn’t do so well but it was good to play with my mates.

“This trip is a bonus for me.”

Adams, a natural left-footer, said he owed his Player of the Year award and the chance to play in England to his Heavy Equipment Gisborne United team-mates.

“I couldn’t have the season I had —scoring goals and winning the club and league’s Golden Boot — if it wasn’t for the rest of the team. We had an awesome bunch of players this season and to come second in our first year in the Pacific Premiership was huge.”

Adam’s older brother Corey was the team’s player-coach and father Chris was manager and “sometimes” sub on the team sheet for away games.

Duncan McVey was a goal-scoring inside forward but his grandson prefers central midfield.

“You’re always involved in the play in midfield and I really enjoy that,” said McVey.

“I’d love to be a professional footballer in England but you need a British passport, and even though my father is eligible, I’m not.

“I’m looking at this trip as a stepping stone towards possibly becoming a professional here and then ultimately making the All Whites.

“It will be good to test myself against players who are similar in age but will have been playing a much higher standard.”

While looking forward to getting plenty of game time, Adams and McVey were unanimous in agreement that the game against Tottenham’s youth team would be the highlight.

“It’s going to be a great experience playing all these teams but playing Tottenham, who could have players with aspirations of making the first team in a few years, is going to be a real highlight,” said Adams.

Like McVey, Adams would love to make a living out of playing football.

“That’s the dream — that and playing for the All Whites.”

When McMenamin returned from England last year he said: “looking back I could have done better. I had been told it would be an eye-opener and it was; more than I ever imagined.”

  • The Pulse academy team’s itinerary — September 30, Crawley Town; October 3, Queens Park Rangers; Oct 4, Swindon Town; Oct 5, Ipswich; Oct 7, Watford; Oct 9, Colchester; Oct 10, Tottenham Hotspur. ​
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