SOCCER: Boys enjoy tournament in Germany

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Football Development School take on Bayern Munich, Hamburg and more

Football Development Schools have created a team of English and Finnish boys to play in the very best tournaments across Europe. The team, which is called FDS Soumi (this is Finland in Finnish) combines top English and Finnish players. It welcomed local players Joe Massaro, James Brown and Josh Randall from Clifton, Rugby and Oakham Rutland into their squad to take on the might of German football.

The FDS Soumi team played in the largest indoor football tournament in Europe in Ulm, Germany and competed with European Cup finalists Bayern Munich, previous winners Hamburg and former champions league finalists Bayer Leverkusen. For many such illustrious opponents would be a daunting prospect, however the FDS Soumi team produced some magnificent performances over the weekend starting with a 4-1 victory over Bayern Munich. This was followed by a 5-2 victory over Hamburg and a draw against Bayer Lerverkusen.

During the second group stage the FDS Soumi team beat Swiss side FC Luzern thanks to a last minute winner from Joe Massaro and the team followed this with another victory against Rapid Vienna. The team would finally be eliminated by Hallescher FC from the Bundesliga by one goal! This meant that the team finished 9th in a tournament of 25 with Borussia Dortmund finishing 10th, Bayern Munich were 16th and VFB Stuttgart 11th. The eventual winners were FC Nurnberg.

Joe Mossaro, who has been at FDS since the age of 6 said: “To play in front of 2000 people was fantastic, the highlight was beating Bayern Munich as they were the team everybody wanted to beat. It was also great to test yourself against the best players in Europe at your age to see how good you are.’

The FDS Soumi coach Howard Willmott was also delighted with the performance in Germany: “The tournament was a fantastic experience for the team. The hours of practice the boys put in each week was how they achieved what they did here in Germany. The results were based around a group of players coming together and working so hard for each other.”

The tournament in Germany had teams from Poland, Switzerland, Austria, France, England (West Bromwich FC) and the host country. FDS Soumi competed as a Finnish team, having a squad of four Finnish players, three English players and one Dutch player.

Domestically Joe, josh and James both play for the FDS Academy, which is the English part of football school.

For a trial at FDS in partnership with West Bromwich Albion FC at Rugby School, call (01858) 461166 or alternatively e-mail