by Andrew Crawshaw
It’s not just the senior team that are on a pre-season tour. A group of our U19 players are in Durban, South Africa trying to retain the Durban International Tournament Cup that the club won last year. The main web site for the tournament seems to be http://durbanu19.co.za/league/durbanu19-2016/
The Arsenal group comprises :-
Hugo Keto (GK), Ben Sheaf, Stephy Mavididi, Kristopher Da Graca, Savvas Mourgos, Marcus McGuane, Josh DaSilva, Donyell Malen, Nathan Tella, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Kostas Pileas, Tolaji Bola, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe, Toby Omole, Marcelo Allende.
This squad will almost certainly form the nucleus of the Champions Youth League squad later in the year.
The last player on the list will be new to virtually all of our readers. Marcello is Chilean and has captained his country at U17 level. He is a midfielder and will be with the club till September. At this stage there is no indication as to the liklihood of him being offered a professional contract once his loan deal expires.
This year will be the third that the Durban U19 International Football Tournament will have taken place. There are 8 teams involved – a mixture of South African Clubs, the SA National team U19 squad, a mixture of European Clubs and one from each of Brazil and Congo.
The winners the first time the tournament was played in 2014 were Santos (Brazil) who beat Benfica (Portugal) 2 – 0. Last Summer Arsenal beat PSV Eindhoven (Holland) 2 – 1.
This year the 8 teams are – Golden Arrows FC (Durban South Africa), Sporting Lisbon, KZN Academy (Natal South Africa), Arsenal, TP Mazembe (Lubumbashi, DR Congo), Fluminese (Brazil), SA National U19 Team and Rangers.
It starts with the teams split into two groups of 4 and all group members playing each other in a ‘round robin’.
Matchday 1 28 July Group 1
- Golden Arrows v Sporting Lisbon
- KZN Academy v Arsenal
Matchday 2 29 July Group 2
- TP Mazembe v Fluminese
- SA U19 v Rangers
Matchday 3 30 July Group 1
- KZN Academy v Golden Arrows
- Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon
Matchday 4 31 July Group 2
- TP Mazembe v SA U19
- Rangers v Fluminese
Matchday 5 1 August Group 1
- Golden Arrows v Arsenal
- KZN Academy v Sporting Lisbon
Matchday 6 Group 2
- TP Mazembe v Rangers
- SA U19 v Fluminese
Semi Finals 4 August
- Group A Winner v Group B Second Place
- Group b winner v Group A Second Place
Final and Third place play-off 6 August
The Group A matches and Finals are being played in the King Zwelithni Stadium (15,000 Capacity), Group B games will be at the Sugar Ray Xulu stadium (6,500 capacity). The semi finals at the main stadium in Durban the Moses Mabhida (capacity 64,000).
I haven’t been able to find out any details of match coverage I’m afraid. I hope that Arsenal Player will have some highlights at some point.
Update of the first two games:-
Golden Arrows beat Lisbon by one goal to nil, MOTM was Mkhululi Ncube the Arrows No5.
Arsenal starting team was Keto (GK), Osei-Tutu, Pileas, Da Graca, Mavididi, Nelson, Mourgos, Sheaf, male, McGuane and Da Silva. Mavididi put us ahead in Min 35 but two late goals from Magaqua won the game for KZN with two late goals. Disappointing start for our youngsters.
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