Pat Holland took an under-18 Academy side to Belgium last week for the Eurofoot Tournament and, after a slow start, he reports that the boys did themselves and the club proud in very good company.
Pat takes up the story...
"They ended up doing quite well after a not so good start. We played Bruge in the first game, who ended up being the finalists and were the winners last yeat, and found ourselves two goals down inside five minutes.
"During this time we lost Phil Ifil to injury and had Ciaran McKenna sent off. We ended up losing the game 5-0 so it wasn't a terrific start.
"Our second game in the afternoon was against Dutch side Willem II - we were winning 1-0 and they scored with the last kick of the game.
"The first day - the Friday - was a bit of a disaster in terms of results and morale was a bit low at the end of it.
"The second day we did ever so well. We played two sides from Belgium and won the first 3-1 and the next 1-0.
"We then played a really good Spanish side - Espanyol Barcelona. I watched them in the afternoon and they were a good outfit, a few older players and I thought if we could get anything out of it we would be doing well.
"They excelled themselves and won 3-1. It was unfortunate in terms of goal aggregate with the game going on alongside up - Willem scored with the last kick of the game again to get through to the semis.
"It was a fantastic day just spoiled in the last few seconds."