The line-up for the third edition of the Premier League Under 16 tournament has been confirmed after last weekend’s regional qualifying tournaments.
Manchester City, Everton, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and Reading will all send their under 16 sides to the tournament at the University of Warwick after winning their respective regional qualifiers.
Tottenham Hotspur Academy manager John McDermott told PremierLeague.com: “I love the tournament format. Our policy is to share time around and this enables us to take 18 or 20 players.
“There’s something on the day, so it’s important that you do well in the first game, the second game is like a semi-final, and the third game is like a final. It allows you get so much out of it.”
Spurs qualified alongside Chelsea as West Ham United hosted their regional qualifying group in a day-long tournament with Norwich City also included. “What we have got at the moment is just right and everybody played all of their players, no one had the same 11 in every game. Everybody went there with a similar ethos and it was a good day,” McDermott said.
The event was won by Norwich City in 2011 and Chelsea triumphed last year. This year’s tournament takes place over the weekend of 25-27th October.
McDermott added: “The games are shorter in tournament football so being able to concentrate and start quickly is important. It’s a test of their mental resilience. It is quite rare to win every game in a tournament and there are going to be highs and lows.
“A good tournament replicates a season in many ways because there are ups and downs, there’s fatigue towards the end and it requires players sometimes to perform when maybe they are a little tired.
“There are a million different things that they get out of it. They are away from home, they are in a controlled environment which again is always good for the players and also good for the staff to get to know the players and maybe influence them a bit more.
“It’s great to experience the highs and also to experience the lows of not doing well, which sometimes at that age can engender a real desire to improve and for those silver medalists to become gold medalists in the long term.”
National tournament (qualifiers) results: (taken from PremierLeague.com)
Host: Blackburn Rovers Academy
Everton 0-3 Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Manchester United
Everton 3-2 Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Manchester City
Manchester 2-1 Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers 0-3 Everton
Qualifiers: Manchester City & Everton
Host: Middlesbrough Academy
Newcastle United 1-0 Middlesbrough
Sunderland 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
Newcastle United 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
Sunderland 2-1 Middlesbrough
Sunderland 3-1 Newcastle United
Middlesbrough 3-1 Newcastle United
Qualifiers: Newcastle United & Sunderland
Host: West Ham United Academy
West Ham United 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea 2-0 Norwich City
West Ham United 1-1 Norwich City
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-0 West Ham United
Norwich City 0 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Qualifiers: Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur
Host: University of Warwick (1)
Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa
Cardiff 1-0 Aston Villa
Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff
Qualifiers: Liverpool & Cardiff City
Host: University of Warwick (2)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion 3-2 Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Leicester City 2-0 Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Swansea City
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Leicester City
Qualifiers: West Bromwich Albion & Wolverhampton Wanderers
Host: Fulham Academy
Arsenal 2-3 Reading
Fulham 0-0 Southampton
Arsenal 1-0 Southampton
Reading 0-1 Fulham
Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
Reading 1-1 Southampton
Qualifiers: Arsenal & Reading