January 3, 2014
I realise that with a NLD tomorrow, blogging about an Under-19 tournament in Vietnam seems somewhat irrational, but I was intrigued to see earlier that we are late entrants to the Nutifood Cup.
Participation in this tournament means that we’ve had to postpone two Barclays Under-18 Premier League fixtures – the game at home to Southampton this Saturday and another away to West Bromwich Albion next weekend. To do so, John McDermott and his team must see this opportunity as incredibly worthwhile. McDermott’s belief in tournament experience as an important part of the development of young players has been well documented, and in an interview on the official site he seemed enthused:
“We’re going as a replacement for another European side so everything’s been a little bit last minute, but we just thought it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
We play against the Japanese and Vietnamese national sides as well as Roma so they’ll be three really tough games in heat and humidity. It’s a really invaluable lesson for our lads to go through.”
It’s an Under-19 tournament and is so-called because one of the co-organisers (along with Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), HA.GL Group and Eximbank) is the ‘Nutifood Nutrition Food Joint Stock Company’. The winning team receives $100,000 in prize money.
The fixtures are as follows – times are local times, which I believe are GMT+7.
15:40: Tottenham Hotspur v Japan
18:00: Vietnam v AS Roma
15:40: AS Roma v Tottenham Hotspur
18:00: Vietnam v Japan
15:40: Japan v AS Roma
18:00: Vietnam v Tottenham Hotspur
I would guess that the squad is something like the below, but there is no official squad list available as yet.
NB: Some squads appearing online included Veljkovic and Michael-Percil (who definitely haven’t travelled), and didn’t include Dombaxe or Alex McQueen (who have), so are inaccurate.
Look out for more news on the official site from Monday morning, and keep an eye on Wiziwig for potential streams, as the matches are being televised in Asia.