Marvellous Marveld for young Reds
Posted by nickogs20 on June 1, 2010
United’s U15 side have ended their season in terrific fashion with a club-best third place finish at the prestigious Marveld tournament in the Netherlands.
Sixth was the best the Reds had previously achieved at the annual three-day tournament held in the eastern city of Groenlo, and in recent seasons successive tenth place finishes have been all Tommy Martin’s young squads have had to show for their end-of-season efforts. The prospect of a group including the likes of Ajax and Real Madrid didn’t offer too much encouragement either, but the United youngsters were undaunted and overcame an opening game setback to comfortably qualify for the semi-finals and only narrowly miss out on a final berth.
That early setback came against Ajax, who ran out 2-0 winners when they met the Reds as part of the first set of games on Friday night. With Real Madrid next up early on Saturday morning, United got back on track with a 1-0 win over the Spanish giants before really settling into the competition with 2-0 wins over Konoplev FA and FC Twente later that day. That left them just needing to avoid defeat against Feyenoord on Sunday morning, something they duly accomplished with a 1-1 draw, and results elsewhere conspired to hand the Reds top spot in the group.
No 9th/10th place playoff for the United youngsters this year then – instead, a semi-final against Danish side Brondby. It was a closely fought tie with honours even at 1-1 heading into the closing stages, but the Danes unfortunately pinched it late on to take their place in the final along with Auxerre. The Reds had to make do with the consolation of a playoff against Ajax and duly avenged their opening day defeat to the Amsterdam club with a 2-0 victory, securing an extremely creditable third place tournament finish.
With this being an Under-15 tournament, team news and scorers weren’t revealed, but the United squad that travelled is listed on the official Marveld website as:
Daniel Atkinson, Joshua Harrop, Nicolas Ioannou, Joe Rothwell (captain), Matthew Wilkinson, Ben Barber, Ryan Shields, James Weir, Daniel O’Brien, Ben Pearson, John Pritchard, Michael Starkey, Elliot Chadderton, James Wilson, Omar Thompson, Louis Rowley.
Some names to watch out for over the coming years. Congratulations to everyone involved.