Tiki-taka football may be coming to Horsfall Stadium as Bradford Park Avenue look to go top of ‘la liga’

DERBY DAY: Jordan Deacey takes on two Workington players during Wednesday’s 1-0 win against the basement boys. Avenue are home to local rivals Harrogate Town tomorrow afternoon

DERBY DAY: Jordan Deacey takes on two Workington players during Wednesday’s 1-0 win against the basement boys. Avenue are home to local rivals Harrogate Town tomorrow afternoon

First published in Sport by

James Knowles is hoping to mix business with business as his day job and his playing career run in tandem.

The Avenue defender has his own company, Football Tours International, and has this week been working alongside a top coach from Spain.

Knowles wants to get him doing some sessions with the Avenue squad on his next visit and feels the club could even benefit from a pre-season trip to the continent.

Knowles said: “I am very fortunate because being a semi-professional footballer has allowed me to set up my own company. We organise and arrange tours to and from the UK and Europe for anyone from pro teams to schools and junior clubs.

“We have had a highly qualified coach called Albert Vilness running sessions at schools in Wakefield and Leeds this week. He has come from the Catalonia Football Federation and coaches from around here have been coming along just to watch him and the methods he uses.

“Even the coaches have been learning from him and seeing something different so I decided to ask John (Bradford boss Deacey) if Albert can do some sessions with our lads up at Avenue.

“John is open-minded and forward-thinking. He is always learning and looking for ways to develop his players. The thing is that at the moment, at this stage of the season, the games are coming thick and fast so all our training is about recovery and getting on the ball.

“Albert or one of his colleagues will be coming back over around Easter and I’ll be asking John if we can make the most of the visit.”

Knowles feels the benefits should not stop there and is going to suggest a pre-season trip to Avenue’s board of directors. Four or five days of warm-weather training would be a boon, especially with a couple of friendly games against local sides or other clubs on tour factored in.

Knowles added: “The Catal-onia Federation have a place in Salou where they run courses and the facilities there are fantastic. We could work on base fitness and ball skills.

“It would be a great opportunity to do double sessions and really get fit. That would set us up for the first five or six games of the season.

“The last couple of years we have not started well and this season we were particularly poor but we did have Nathan (Hotte, Avenue’s skipper) suspended and a couple of injuries.

“I think we would definitely hit the ground running if we had a week to work on things and the points you get from the first half a dozen games can be vital to your season.

“I’ll speak to the board and John about it. Maybe if the club couldn’t cover the cost then the lads could chip in. I’m sure the lads would be keen, although they might get a bit of earache from their other halves. But it wouldn’t be a lads on tour thing, it would be strictly professional.”

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