Our Under-18s will compete in the 2011 Copa Amsterdam this weekend with a strong squad set to make the trip.
John Bostock, Tom Carroll, Nathan Byrne and Cameron Lancaster have all played senior football this season during loan spells in the Football League, and are set to travel alongside a host of scholars and Under-16 players.
The tournament will be played at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium and consists of 50-minute matches, with two groups of four vying for places in semi-finals and an eventual final.
We have been placed in Group B and kick off our schedule against Marseille on Friday night, before taking on Botafogo of Brazil and Anderlecht on Saturday.
Group A consists of Ajax, Borussia Dortumund, Cruzeiro and AS Trencin of Slovakia.
The lads will play two games on Sunday regardless of where they finish in the group, with the top two teams from each pool going into the semi-finals and Final while the third and fourth placed teams will also face each other for a spot in a 3rd/4th Play-Off.
Academy manager John McDermott believes the tournament represents a great opportunity for the more senior players in the squad as well as the scholars.
He said: “We’ve been over there, looked at the facilities and the standard of opposition, and we bit their hand off as it’s a great opportunity for the boys to test themselves against international teams.
“There’s a good blend of players that are going. Some have played league football, but it gives them the international flavour of football they haven’t had, topping off a really good season for them.
“Botafogo beat us in Eurofoot at the start of the season, but we’ll be playing against them with a slightly more experienced team, so it will be good to see where we are now compared to then.”
Jordan Archer, Alexander McQueen, Kevin Stewart, Jake Nicholson, James Yeboah, Jack Munns, Cameron Lancaster, John Bostock, Kudus Oyenuga, Callum Tapping, Nathan Byrne, Jonathan Miles, Ronnie Hawkins, Ramil Sheriff, Mason Bush, Tom Carroll, Jack Barthram