St Albans City Youth teams crowned champions in Europe
- Credit: Archant
ST ALBANS City Youth sent a number of teams to Europe over Easter to take part in the Holland Cup with two teams winning silverware and another surpassing all expectations.
U15 North enjoyed outstanding success, winning the tournament.
Following a successful first day in which the boys beat teams from Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and Holland, the boys progressed through to the main Holland Cup on the Sunday.
They then proceeded to beat teams from Sweden, Italy and Holland before facing the host team and last year’s winners, AS’80, in the final.
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A gruelling eight games in two days had taken their toll and a number of boys were carrying injuries but a neat lob from Alex Howard, who finished top goal scorer, and a sharp finish from Akim Akinbinu secured a well-deserved 2 - 0 victory.
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After a difficult season, where U13 South have really struggled in the White Division, and in the process lost several players, it was with some trepidation that the team approached the Holland Tour. However what an inspired decision to tour it proved to be.
Bolstered by four players from U13 North and East: Ilias and Younes Bahkti, Luke Gibbons and Jo Vance, the team was transformed.
In the first game they beat a Danish side 1-0, Illias scoring with a fine header.
The second match pitted them against a German team. Despite total domination by South, the opposition went down the other end to take the lead.
A tactual change at half time saw South equalise through Adam Skinner. At 1-1, South threw everything at the Germans but they were unable to score as the game end level.
In the final game of day one, the boys drew 3-3 with a strong Dutch side. Daniel Newton, Ben Gosling and Illias scored the goals. Harry Ross was unplayable at times in this game.
Day two started with the boys playing in a snow blizzard against a Danish team. They won 2-0 with goals from Ben and Luke.
In the second game of the day, the south played really well against another very strong Dutch team. Sam Smith put in a good performance but South lost 3-0.
In a must win game to make the finals, Jack Armstrong and Tom Gordon with their backs to the wall displays could not stop the south going down 2-0 before Ben got one back. That was all they could muster as they finish a credible fifth out of 16 teams.
The south was supported by a team of loyal parents: Amanda Newton, Dave Skinner, Lisa Gosling, Karen Affleck, Nick Bailey and team brother Anthony Gosling.
U13 North Girls
The U13 North girls emulated the success of the U15 boys, winning the Challenge Cup.
The girls lost the first two games: 1-0 against Danish side Hillerod Damen and 3-0 against Dutch side ASC WW, before bouncing back with a 2-0 win against AS’80, another Dutch side.
Charlotte Boyle got the ball rolling with the first goal before adding a second deep into the second half to secure the win.
The girls’ heroics in the final match of day one led to them being placed in the Challenge Cup for the second day of the tournament.
In the first game the girls blew AFC Waterwijk away, winning 4-0. Emily Schofield, Danielle Tyler (two) and Shauna Smith scored the goals.
In the final the girls faced AS’80 in a rematch of the previous day. The match was extremely even with the Dutch opponents hitting the post and forcing a tremendous stop from Ellen Fox.
There was to be no revenge though as Tyler and Schofield netted one each to hand the trophy to City,