PUPILS of Ampertaine Primary School in Upperlands will today rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the British Premier League - literally.
For, a four-strong team from Aston Villa Football Club will visit the South Derry school following an ongoing ‘tete-a-tete’ between the two sides...
Flying in from Birmingham to meet the youngsters will be the top flight team’s Marketing Director Dan Meredith, two coaches and Hercules, the team mascot.
A school spokesperson told the MAIL on Tuesday: “The kids are so excited. They know something is happening on Thursday, something very special, but don’t know exactly what.”
She explained that the extra-special meeting came about due to a penpal-type correspondence.
“Our school decided to adopt a Premier League football team this year, and all the teams’ names were put in a hat. When the draw was made during Assembly, Aston Villa’s name was the one that was pulled out.
“Since then, the children have been sending team-members handwritten notes as well as letters of encouragement. They have received quite a few replies too. Then, we heard that Dan Meredith wanted to come over to meet the children!”
The draw which was made around two months ago was a fortuitous one - Aston Villa’s colours are claret and blue - the very same ones sported by pupils of Ampertaine PS.
The Aston Villa members’ estimated time of arrival in Upperlands is around 11am. And, the schedule? Well, members of the Witton-based club hope to grab a spot of lunch with the fledgling footballers - and to treat them to a coaching session!
“I think Dan is planning on bring along a few goodies too,” said the spokesperson, who pointed out that the little school in South Derry has made it onto the team’s website. Aston Villa are currently 10th in the Premier League.