EIGHTEEN young footballers from Bahrain are gearing up to take the trip of a lifetime to the home of English footballing giants Manchester United.
The youngsters were selected from nearly 1,000 applicants to the second edition of the VIVA Manchester United Soccer School programme after coming through a rigorous trialing process.
They will travel to the UK on July 8 and will spend a week living and training at the official Manchester United Soccer School campus at Myerscough College.
The training schedule has been put together by VIVA Bahrain in consultation with the Manchester United Soccer School and will include two football training sessions every day.
The sessions, to be conducted by Uefa-qualified coaches, will focus on advanced soccer skills such as short passing and dribbling, while the participants will also have a chance to test themselves against other players in a series of matches.
In addition, the daily routine will include interactive workshops, a training session at Manchester United's first team base in Carrington and a trip to the club's legendary home ground, Old Trafford.
The players and their family members assembled for a special briefing session this week, when they received full details of their travel arrangements and accommodation as well as a preview of what they could expect for the week.
They were also introduced to VIVA officials and Bahrain Football Association representative Hamad Mohammed, who will be accompanying them on the trip.
Speaking after the briefing, VIVA Bahrain chief commercial officer Andrew Hanna said the programme promised much excitement for the participants.
"This is the second season of our successful VIVA Manchester United Soccer programme and yet another innovative initiative from VIVA to make dreams come true for our young football enthusiasts as well as cultivate the local football talent.
"The training program this year will even be more exciting for players as they will gain insights and experience the training schedule of a professional Manchester United player at Myerscough College.
"We at VIVA Bahrain wish the young footballers good luck for their exciting football journey and hope they benefit greatly from this experience and learn more about the game they share a passion for."