« Back flies over 100 young footballers to Lisbon for once-in-a-lifetime Benfica coaching trip

24th September 2021 • Posted in Announcements welcomed over 100 children from the Sons of Struth Youth Football Academy onboard a special charter flight this week (Tuesday 21st September) from Glasgow Airport to Lisbon, where the players took part in once-in-a-lifetime coaching sessions with Portuguese league champions Benfica.  

Swapping the Glasgow pitch for the Estádio da Luz stadium, the busy flight to Lisbon consisted of 125 children from the football academy aged between six and 14, their parents, as well as 30 coaches and volunteers. On arrival in Lisbon, the children made their way to the Estádio da Luz stadium to be put through their paces by the coaches from one of Europe’s most successful clubs, in addition to receiving a tour of the famous arena, as part of the unique experience.  

After a day of living the life of a professional footballer, the children returned home to Glasgow on a charter flight the same day. The trip came about when the Sons of Struth Manager, Craig Houston contacted Benfica through Coerver, who are the football academy’s coaching programme partners to discuss the idea of hosting the academy.  

Funding for the trip has been achieved through fundraising by the Sons of Struth, with each of the children doing their bit to secure their place on the memorable tour.  

Craig comments: “We always try to put on a great experience for the children and what could be better than a trip to Lisbon complete with training from Benfica and our very own chartered aircraft. After two years without a trip or tournament due to Covid restrictions, we wanted to offer the children the chance to travel and train like their football heroes with our very own plane! I was determined to plan the trip of a lifetime and give the children a great experience at one of the best academies. It was great to see the big smiles on the children’s faces during the trip and I’m sure that they will remember the special day for the rest of their lives. We would like to thank for making the trip unforgettable.” 

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: “We were delighted to welcome these budding footballers onboard this special flight and to treat them to our famous VIP customer experience. Not many children can say they have been on their own chartered aircraft, so I’ve no doubt it was an experience they will never forget. We hope they had a great day and we made it even more special for them!” 

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