International Glory For Young Blues

Everton Under-23s weren’t the only ones tasting glory this month.

The Club’s Under-13 side won the prestigious Premier League International Tournament after beating some of Europe’s best teams in their age groups.

The young Blues’ journey began with a regional qualifier at Stoke City which saw them get the better of the hosts, Manchester City and Manchester United.

That secured a place in the finals at St George’s Park including Benfica, Rapid Vienna, Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland.

The junior Toffees were drawn with Arsenal, West Brom and Benfica in a group which you had to win to make the final. Everton were in top form and did just that thanks to a victory over an excellent Gunners side.

That set up a final with Chelsea in what was a fantastic advert for Elite Academy football. A competitive match was settled with a late winner to secure a 1-0 win for Everton, and with it the title.

Coach Jamie Russell said: “This season has been very pleasing with the boys. They have continually been challenged, to develop tactically as a team and technically, too.

“Winning any tournament is a fantastic achievement, but when you beat Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Benfica and Chelsea then you really are worthy champions.”

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