Some top-class Clubs were in attendance this weekend as the Academy played host to the biggest International Academy Tournament of its kind to be held in the region.
European giants Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Sporting Lisbon were in attendance as well as a host of Premier League clubs such as Chelsea, Everton, West Ham, Southampton and Cardiff City to name just a few of the 20 clubs who took part from across England and Europe.
The event, for players born in 2007, which was jointly coordinated by the Academy and ‘Live Adventure’, took place at Lockleaze Sport Centre across the whole of Saturday.
Academy Manager Jonathan Henderson said it was great for the Academy to stage such a prestigious tournament.
"We were delighted with the chance to host a tournament of this nature. To have attracted teams from a wide range countries such as France, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, as well as from the UK to take part is a huge achievement.”
“A big thank you must go to Dawid Kowalski and Live Adventure without whom it would not have been possible to have secured the level of teams in attendance.”
The event format saw teams placed initially into 4 groups of 5 teams, which saw Bristol Rovers initially drawn in a group with Cardiff City, West Ham, Banik Ostrava (Czech Republic), and Paris Saint-Germain. Based on the final group standings, new groups were formed on a merit basis which saw us face VJS Vantaa (Finland), FC Lugano (Switzerland), and Arka Gdynia (Poland) in the latter stages.
The tournament was eventually won by Sporting CP, a club who have a world-renowned youth development program which has produced some of the worlds most exciting players over the years, including Cristiano Ronaldo!
“The talent on show was unbelievably high and it would not be an exaggeration to say that there may be players who were involved in this event who could go on to potentially playing in the Champions League or even at major International Tournaments for their countries at some point in the future.”
“For our young players to have had the experience to play against players of that calibre, as well as against a number of clubs from a range of countries is something that will be hugely beneficial for their development. The highlight of the day will certainly be having the opportunity to play against PSG - which will undoubtedly be something our players will cherish as a memorable childhood experience for the rest of their lives.”
“We are incredibly proud to have been involved in putting this event together, and I’d like to thank not only all the teams who attended but also everyone from the Academy, Live Adventure, and Lockleaze Sport Centre who worked tirelessly in making this event a huge success.”