April 1, 2015
Our U18s are participating in ‘Torneo Internazionale U18 Bellinzona’ in Switzerland over the next few days. It’s a competition we’re familiar with – we actually won it in 2009. There were some familiar faces in the team that won the final against Sporting: Jansson, Smith, Nicholson (Ekim, 55), Cox, Butcher, Caulker, Byrne, Parrett, Oyenuga, Mason, Kasim (Kane, 65).
We are in Group A with Atletico Madrid (Spain), Team Ticino (Switzerland – a local team) and Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia).
Our schedule is as follows (local times shown):
Atletico Madrid – Thursday, 19:00
Team Ticino – Friday, 19:00
Lokomotiv Moscow – Saturday, 14:00
Group B consists of:
Inter Milan (Italy)
FC Midtjylland (Denmark)
SK Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)
Club Tijuana (Mexico)
We are taking an 18-man squad and are allowed to include three overage players. Matches are 60 minutes until the final, which is 80 minutes.
The official tournament website lists the following players, although there are 22 names, which contradicts with the 18-man squad mentioned on our official site. Given that Pritchard has been injured for most of the season, and Sonupe is on loan at St Mirren, I would guess that neither would be involved. Georgiou has also missed several weeks through injury, so he could be another that has not actually travelled.
We’ve participated in many tournaments over the years and I tried a while ago to create a list – I’m sure this isn’t even close to compete, but it shows how far the Academy go to ensure our young players get every opportunity possible to test themselves against other types of teams.
January: Viareggio – Tuscany, Italy.
January: Nutifood Cup – Vietnam.
February: Riga Cup (U16) – Latvia.
April: Spartak Cup (U17) – Moscow, Russia..
April: Torneo Internazionale – Bellizona, Switzerland.
April: Champions Trophy – Düsseldorf, Germany.
May: Tournoi de Football de Talence – Talence, France.
May: Le Tournoi International de Football de Monthey – Monthey, Switzerland.
May: Terborg Toernooi – Gelderland, Netherlands.
May: Volksbank Cup – Stemwede, Germany.
August: PSV Otten Cup – Eindhoven, Netherlands.
August: Santiago tournament, Spain.
August: Eurofoot – Oostduinkerke, Belgium.