If you’ve got footy-mad kids and the daunting prospect of the long school holidays ahead, one way to keep them occupied could be to book them onto a summer football camp.
There are now a huge choice of football camps across the UK and Europe that offer children the chance to learn from certified coaches in a fun and engaging environment during the summer months. Many of these camps also come as part of family vacation packages, with state-of-the-art footballing facilities located on-site at many hotels and resorts where kids take part in morning or afternoon sessions. We’ve picked out 10 of the best summer football camps currently available in the UK and further afield.
Football Escapes (various locations)
Working with some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts around the world, Football Escapes offer football camps for boys and girls aged 5-15 throughout the year. Camps are led by genuine Premier League legends and football freestylers, supported by UEFA- licensed coaches. A typical seven-day holiday will consist of five two-hour football sessions, Monday to Friday from 10am to 12pm. Among the destinations they cover are Dubai, the Maldives, Cyprus, Portugal, the UK and Spain. Their team of in-house travel consultants help with your travel planning, creating a personalised itinerary for you and your family. All participating children receive a pre-camp personalised video message, signed shirts from football legends, a Rascal x training kit, and a medal on completion. Families also gain access to exclusive on-resort events and a dedicated personal concierge team.
Dream Team Soccer School
Offering school holiday football camps in both the UK and the sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Dream Team Soccer School cater for boys and girls of all abilities. All of their coaches are qualified and trained to work with children, providing a safe, fun and rewarding environment designed to help players develop skills and reach their potential. Their Masters Football programme is run in partnership with the stunning Aphrodite Hills Resort Cyprus, where week-long camps are led by some of the past masters of the beautiful game. Emphasis is placed on technique and skills such as passing, dribbling and shooting. Each child is provided with an Exclusive Masters Football Kit and on completion of the course they also receive a signed certificate and medal.
FC Barcelona (various locations)
One of the world’s most prestigious football clubs, FC Barcelona run summer football camps for boys and girls in the city of Barcelona itself, as well as in Miami and New York. Official club coaches supervise all of the sessions throughout the camp, with a focus on teaching Barcelona’s unique style of play honed over 120 years of celebrated history. Both residential and non-residential camps are available, spanning a choice of one, two or three weeks. Included in some packages are Welcome Packs complete with training gear, as well as local excursions and stadium tours.
Chelsea FC Foundation Football School
Located near London, the Chelsea FC Foundation football school runs residential football camps for children aged 9 to 17. Sessions are designed by coaches from the Chelsea FC Foundation, following the methodology used by the professional first team. For a choice of 1 or 2 weeks, children play in a world-class football setting: Chelsea’s training centre and the prestigious Charterhouse School in Surrey, which boasts over 12 pitches, a swimming pool, and a sport centre. Camps offer intensive training, plus workshops to continue the learning off the pitch. Children from overseas can also choose to combine the football program with English lessons to improve their language skills. Camps are full board and include accommodation in high-spec bedrooms on the school campus. At the end of the camp, there’s also a prizegiving ceremony at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC.
Manchester City Football Camp
Another world football giant, Manchester City’s summer camps are operated in partnership with British Study Centres with the mission of supporting the development of young players, helping them to improve their skills and boost their confidence. Daily sessions take place at the City Football Academy, home to Manchester City’s first team, with residential players staying in modern accommodation at the Salford Residence, located a 20-minute drive from the Academy. Here, players will have access to a swimming pool, gym, communal lounges with games, a cinema room and evening activities and entertainment.
TUI Blue Football Academies (various locations)
Run by the TUI Blue flagship global hotel brand, these summer camps are available at a number of sprawling family-friendly resorts in sun-kissed destinations across southern Europe including Crete, Menorca and Rhodes. The English-speaking camps are available to boys and girls aged from 5 to 15, with coaches certified by the English Football Association or UEFA. Training sessions can be booked individually as a supplement to your family holiday and take place six days a week, with players able to choose between 2, 3 or 4 training sessions per week, each lasting 60 minutes.
The Paris Saint Germain Academy
The Harlem Globetrotters of modern football, owing to their line-up of superstars, a chance to train at a PSG summer camp renders children starry-eyed. Their UK-based day and residential camps take place at two locations – Rossall School in Lancashire and Mount St Mary’s College in Sheffield – and are available for both domestic and international students aged 8-17, with camps running from one to four weeks. Sessions are centred around teaching children how to maintain possession and control the game, and at the end of the camp each player receives a certificate of attendance along with an individual Progress and Development report completed by fully qualified coaches.
Based in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, Estima Sports are a professional sports coaching company that specialise in football training camps for children aged 5 to 16. Top-class facilities, professional coaches and special guests make for an unforgettable experience for young football lovers. Each day focuses on a different topic and the week ends with a World cup style tournament. The camps are held on a choice of three upscale resorts, allowing parents to stay on-site as part of a family vacation. Among them is Pine Cliffs, an award-winning luxury resort enjoying a spectacular, prime seafront location.
Based in the Spanish city of Valencia, Soccer Inter-Action’s residential summer camps cater for kids who want to improve their skills while having fun in the sun. Taking place at the ultra-modern SIA Centre, just south of Valencia, the camps are run by UEFA Pro Licensed coaches and include 33 hours of training across six days. The camps are open to girls and boys aged 12-22 years, and include 5 nights full or half-board accommodation in a premium residence within the centre. Also included are English and Spanish language workshops, local excursions and other non-football activities.
The Game Elite Academy (various locations)
Through their partnership with THB Hotels in some of the most luxurious resorts throughout Lanzarote, Mallorca and Ibiza and Tenerife, The Game Elite Academy specialise in creating memorable family holidays with football camps for 5 to 15-year-olds. They take care of all your travel plans, including flights, accommodation, transfers, and football bookings. Courses are led by current and ex-professional footballers alongside an experienced coaching team. Sessions last for 4.5 hours per day and include 2 hours of coaching, analysis and tournaments. Each child receives a full Kappa kit, medal and certificate. Away from the pitch, academy staff also organise fun pool games, nightly entrainment and trips to watch live matches at local sports bars.