Fans win a place at training

Lucky few take part in New England preparations

The Philadelphia Union has given a few lucky fans the experience of a lifetime during the team's preparations for the trip to New England Revolution on Saturday.

Winners of the Union’s Salute the Fans ‘Starting XI’ contest were joined by select Junior Supporters Club members on Thursday to experience what many sports fans have only ever dreamed about – going behind the scenes to join in with the players’ training session.

The session – designed to put the players through their pre-match paces – started with Union’s strength and conditioning coach, Kevin Miller, giving the group pointers on how to get the most out of a warm-up session, outlining the benefits a thorough warm-up can have on the avoidance of unnecessary injuries.

Next, the fans were delighted when the Union players stepped onto the field and joined in on the warm-up session, while Team Manager John Hackworth was also on hand to greet the fans – giving them a sneak preview of what they could expect from the session before outlining what life is really like in a professional soccer team.

The lucky fans were able to watch a series of technical drills – and even join in on a few – as they got fully immersed in a real practice session.

The session was geared towards Saturday’s game at Gillette Stadium, where the Union will take on New England Revolution at 7:30pm ET.