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Wednesday 18 September 2013

Real Madrid enter U15 international tournament

Twelve teams from England and the continent feature in event at Warwick University

Real Madrid will be among the sides featuring in the latest Premier League International Under-15 tournament this weekend at Warwick University.

The Spanish side will be participating in the 12-team tournament for the first time when it takes place from Friday 20 September with the final taking place on Sunday 22 September.

Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion will be the Barclays Premier League representatives, while, as well as Real, two Belgian clubs, Club Brugge and KRC Genk, Hertha Berlin, of Germany, and Dutch side PSV Eindhoven will attend.

"We are very excited," said Santiago Solari, a Real Madrid youth team coach. "The kids are enthusiastic as it is such an important tournament. The matches will be of a high level and it will be a really good experience for the players."

Asked what style of football the team play, Solari said: "We play according the philosophy of Real Madrid with attacking combinations while always seeking excellence and representing the values of the club."

Teams taking part in Premier League U15 International Tournament, 20-22 September

Premier League



Club Brugge (Belgium)


Hertha Berlin (Germany)


KRC Genk (Belgium)

Manchester City

PSV Eindhoven (Holland)


Real Madrid (Spain)

Newcastle United


West Bromwich Albion


The sides will not know against whom they will be drawn in three four-team groups until they arrive at Warwick. The top side from each group will progress to the semi-finals, as well as the runner-up with the best record. Unfortunately, this event is not open to the public.

The tournament forms the middle stage of the Premier League's Youth Development phase of the Performance Pathway, for the U12 to U16 age group. This phase focuses on helping the players make the transition to 11 v 11 matches, tournament football and pitching the best players against each other. To allow players space to develop and progress, the U15 programme puts on tournaments and festivals rather than a league schedule.

Reading progress

The first international tournament of this season's Premier League's Games Programme, which runs from Under-9 to Under-21 and is designed to bring through the next generation of players, took place last month at St George's Park.

"Nowadays there are a lot more small boys, more technical football – it's really improved in England"
Benjamin Hoffman

Reading were the only Premier League representative to make it through to the last four, having topped Group C, with the foreign participants helped by fielding older sides thanks to them having a different classification for age. But Borussia Dortmund's Under-15 coach Bernd Hoffman noted an improvement in the English sides from a previous visit with greater skill and technical quality on show.

"Two years ago it was all about big boys with the strength and who were physically good but nowadays there are a lot more small boys, more technical football, they use two touches to pass not only three or four, and it's really improved in England," Hoffman said.

As with all Premier League international tournaments the event this weekend gives the players not only the chance to improve on the pitch but off it with the opportunity to analyse their match performances.

'Global picture'

"For every game in the afternoon they will be able to see how many passes they've made across the back, how many crosses they've had, how many shots they've had, how many touches the boys have had compare that with their opposition," Terry Westley, the Premier League's Senior Club Support Manager, said. "It's a global picture, not just about the game but also about the off-the-field activities that are going on."

"One of the ways you learn is by watching the best"
Eric Steele

The event last month also featured extra help for the teams' goalkeepers with former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele giving tips as well as showing videos of the best No 1s in action.

"One of the ways you learn is by watching the best and that's really what they've had to do for 30 minutes," Steele said. "They're now discussing it and hopefully we'll see some of these great saves we've seen on the field in the next few days."

Ajax ran out winners, thanks in part to the goals of the son of Patrick Kluivert, the former Ajax, AC Milan and Newcastle United forward.

"It's always good to win a final and the way we did it,” Peter Vanderveen, the Ajax coach said. "I was really pleased to see what they have seen on the pitch today – I was really proud of them."

Premier League U15 International Tournament

18 -21 August results

GROUP A Points
Spartak Moscow   
Juventus 5
Arsenal 4
Swansea City 0


GROUP B Points
Ajax 7
West Ham United 4
Tottenham Hotspur 4
Blackburn Rovers 1


GROUP C Points
Reading 7
Borussia Dortmund 4
Bolton Wanderers 3
Southampton 3


Ajax 2-1 Spartak Moscow
Reading 0-1 Juventus

Ajax 2-0 Juventus

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Key Points

  • The second Premier League Under-15 International Tournament takes place this weekend
  • Real Madrid and PSV will join the likes of Man City, Fulham and West Brom in 12-team tournament
  • Ajax won first U15 international tournament at the end of August