City of Coimbra International Youth Tournament
As regular visitors to the site will know I have been associated with Portuguese club Academica, from the City of Coimbra, since 2003
Academica Website-Click Here
In August 2008 whilst playing an annual golf match with a friend who is a Director of Myerscough College I hatched a plan in my head to try and put Myerscough football together with the Youth football of Academica.
With a lot of goodwill from both parties in February 2009 the first exchange took place with a student team from Myerscough going to stay and play 2 matches in Coimbra.
The next stage was to bring Academica`s youth team to Myerscough for a pre season camp in 2009. Myerscough has many links with clubs throughout the North West and so providing fixtures was never going to be a problem for the Myerscough staff.
Initially the list I was given to select from was Preston, Blackburn Rovers, Stockport County and Blackpool with of course one fixture against Myerscough College. At this point I declared that I wasn`t too worried who Academica played but one of the games had to be Burnley! What is the point of coordinating something if you are unable to influence a fixture between the two teams you support?
Myerscough were able to easily contact Terry Pashley as his son Adam was working at the College! Fixture....... sorted....... as Gordon Ramsey would say!
Academica youth beat Burnley 4 -1 at Gawthorpe. Sadly I tried to warn Burnley that the Portuguese had young Internationals playing and were a really good strong side.(Two of the Academica players from that day are now in the first team squad for this coming season).
Academica went onto to beat Blackburn and draw with Preston whilst losing again to Myerscough College. It is a little like the Burnley game, Academica underestimate Myerscough at their cost, football`s a funny old game!
So now I had contacts with Burnley and a match to look back on, I contacted the club and in December met with Dobbo and we discussed possibilities of further fixtures and links between Burnley, Myerscough College and Academica.
Dobbo as you may already be are aware from a previous story here on Vital Burnley visited the city of Coimbra and the club, Academica, where he met with the President and Youth Team staff where discussions on links took place.
Vital Burnley Article-Click Here
Fast forward now to the City of Coimbra International Youth Tournament 2010. Having sounded out a number of clubs in Portugal and further afield the inaugural Tournament will have four teams
In addition to Burnley and the hosts Academica the other two clubs will be:
Sporting Lisbon Website-Click Here
Celta Vigo Website-Click Here
By the way plans are also already under way for the 2011 Tournament as some of the African teams that wanted to take part this year have to plan European trips and funding well in advance, and this year`s tournament hasn`t even started! Watch this space as they say!
At this moment in time The Tournament will take the format of Semi Finals then 3rd and 4th place play off and The Final. Sporting and Academica will be in pot one and Celta Vigo and Burnley in Pot 2. The ideal final is Sporting vs Academica, an all Portuguese final, but I wouldn`t rule out a Celta Vigo v Burnley one! Underestimate Celta Vigo at your peril, they are the West Ham of old as far as Academy players and systems go.
The games will be played on Friday August 6th and Saturday August 7th.
On the Friday both matches will take place at Estadio Sergio Conceircao:
Estadio Sergio Conceircao-Click Here
The Saturday games though will be in the main stadium for the Trophies, Estadio Cidade de Coimbra with a capacity of 30,000:
Estadio Cidade de Coimbra-Click Here
Should anyone not fancy Nottingham Forest at home you are more than welcome to come along! Typically for these events a crowd of 100 would be normal so the players will have a great venue if somewhat sparsely populated! I may have to start the chants....empty seats and come in a taxi all by myself unless I can convince my Portuguese friends to join in with me!
As for the Burnley players and staff they will be staying and training at the Academy. It has one full size grass pitch, two 3G pitches, a gym, medical room, dining room, media suites etc etc and me!
Finally Academica`s new coach is Jorge Costa, (Portos Captain under Mourinho when they won the Champions League and of course beat Man Utd in the semi final at Old Trafford. Mourinho`s run down the touch line jogs the memory)
Jorge Costa-Click Here
Jorge Costa on Wiki-Click Here
It is his first season with Academica and we are optimistic it will be a good season, we play champions Benfica first game of the season away, underestimate us at your peril Benfica we have some good new signings!