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Excitement builds as Alcester Town's annual ES Vallet exchange returns after pandemic

ALCESTER Town are looking forward to meeting good friends ES Vallet in France as the annual exchange makes a return following a short hiatus due to Covid-19.

ES Vallet last came to Alcester Town in 2019. (58599274)
ES Vallet last came to Alcester Town in 2019. (58599274)

The town of Alcester and its football club have been twinned with Vallet in the Loire Valley since 1976 and football has been a major part of the exchange over the years.

Always a popular event on the calendar, the two sides had been playing against each other for several years until it came to a halt around a decade ago.

The exchange was restarted in 2018 when a small group of U12 Rangers players visited for a tournament in the La Chappelle Huelin district of Vallet.

Vallet then made the return trip to the Stratford Road Ground in 2019 for Alcester’s annual tournament.

Plans for a trip to France were in place for 2020 but this was scrapped due to Covid-19.

With restrictions lifted, this year the Romans are heading to ES Vallet to take part in the Jean Luc Moreau Tournament.

Alcester’s team will be the same U11s that visited in 2018, meaning they’re now U15s, and there are 11 players taking part and a total party of 27.

The team heads out on Friday, 26th August and returns on Monday, 29th August.

Exchange officer Mick Brookes told the Herald: “The exchange is an important part of the club’s history. It’s been going since 1976 in different forms and it’s been a huge part of my life as I’ve been going on it since 1979.

“We had everything booked for 2020 but then Covid-19 hit which unfortunately stopped us from going. Everyone is really looking forward to this year’s trip and we’ve already arranged for the ES Vallet veterans to come to us on the weekend on 27th-28th May next year.

“There are also plans to bring an ES Vallet youth team across to Alcester in 2023 but no dates have been confirmed yet.”

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