Academy's Dutch Trip

Thursday 18 May 2017 11:00

The Under-18s travel to Holland on Friday for a post-season tour, where they will be playing in an international tournament and competing for the Esad Osmanovski Memorial Cup. 

Three group games are played on the Saturday, with two matches on Sunday to decide each team's finishing place in the tournament. Matches are 50 minutes long with 25 minute halves.

The Young Whites have been drawn against Belgian side KAA Gent, Dutch outfit SC Heerenveen, and Ghana’s Attram de Visser Soccer Academy in Pool A.

Pool B consists of Feyenoord, Club Brugge, West Ham United, and Werder Bremen. Fulham will play two of these teams on the Sunday.

“It’s the first time we have been to this tournament,” commented Head of Academy Coaching, Steve Wigley. “We normally try and aim to go on an end of season trip.

“We went to Germany last year where we did quite well. We got beaten in the Semi-Final by a very good Red Bull Brazil side. It’s a top tournament in Germany and we finished third.

“We were fortunate to be offered a place in this tournament, there are some good teams there and it's always a nice way to end the season with a tour.

“It also means the boys are playing football up until mid may which then gives them around a six week break.”

Asked about playing European teams, he said: “They come up against different styles of football in international tournaments. Also, with the age difference we always end up being a young team as European academic years starts in January, and ours start from August.

“Unfortunately we’ve got a few injuries at the minute, but that just gives some of the young ones an opportunity, and anytime you go and play against top teams from the continent you’ve got to learn something.

You can only take 18 players, they’re 50 miniute games with 25 minutes each way, but you have three on the Saturday and two on the Sunday so everyone is going to play football, everyone is going to get an opportunity.”