Burton Albion Academy Mike Whitlow recently represented Burton Albion on a trip to Ivanovo, Russia.
Mike joined the delegation of Staffordshire County Council, who went to Ivanovo as part of their partnership with the city that has spanned more than 15 years.
Delegates from Ivanovo visited Burton in November 2013,and were entertained by Chairman Ben Robinson at the Pirelli Stadium and following lunch, gave an illustrated tour on the history of the club and it’s work in the local community alongside Head of Community Andy Taylor.
Joining the SCC’s delegation, Mike Whitlow’s aim was to develop a football link between Burton Albion and Ivanovo’s local side, FC Tekstilchik – translating as FC Textile who play in Russia’s second division.
Mike was accompanied by the Club’s General Manager Yury Ermakov and Mr Sergey Toms, Deputy Chief Doctor at Ivanovo Clinical Hospital, who took him on a tour of the club’s facilities, as well as showing him around old Russia.
Upon his return, Mike spoke fondly about the trip, saying “I was honoured to be welcomed by Yuri and Sergey who spent time in showing me the club’s facilities and introducing me to first-team players.
“I was impressed with their academy for 7-16 year-olds and the way in which they’re trying to form links with other clubs.
“Joining the Staffordshire County Council delegation and travelling to Russia was a great experience and the people of Ivanovo were very welcoming. I am hopeful that our Under 18 team will travel there next year to play their team and form a long lasting link with the city.”
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “The Ivanovo partnership helps to develop cultural ties between our two areas and serves as a fact finding opportunity for both parties. We are able to learn from each other on a range of issues; understanding how we each run local government, how we can improve our economies, transport issues and improving people’s health. It was great to have Burton Albion’s involvement with Mike explaining how we all work together to promote an active Staffordshire.”