12 Sep Elite Development Academy International Tour
The Wycombe Wanderers Elite Development Academy (EDA), which provides professional coaching to approximately 600 players aged 6-16 from across the county each week at invite-only sessions, embarked on their second visit to France in early September, which involved taking our U12’s & U13’s Elite Squad’s to France. The two-day trip involved a warm-up fixture Vs Coquelles FC before competing in the Chti’s Cup, an academy festival hosted by FC Boulogne.
Following an early departure from Adams Park on a bright Saturday morning, the players didn’t let the early start and five hours travelling effect their performance in their warm-up fixtures that afternoon, Our U12s squad winning overall 7-2 playing their U13s squad and a little miss communication ended up seeing our U13s come up against their U15s squad which proved a challenge too far getting beat 7-0 but the boys showed great spirit and determination within the fixture which would stand them in good stead for the festival.
On Sunday the players headed into the tournament in buoyant mood following their warm-up matches. Each age group had 12 teams within each festival with each club playing 5 group stage fixtures with the top four teams on points going straight through to the knockout stages;
U12s group Stage Fixtures;
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs URL Louviere – WON 3-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs VAFC – LOST 3-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Lens – LOST 2-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Luton Town – WON 2-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs FC Chambly – WON 2-0
U13s group Stage Fixtures;
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Usbco – WON 3-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Beauvais – WON 4-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs URL Louviere – WON 7-0
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs LOSC – LOST – 2-1
Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs VAFC – Lost 2-1
We were very pleased with the squad’s efforts within the morning’s group stage’s which saw both our squads finish within the top of four of their divisions and qualify straight to the quarterfinals. The U12s finished 4th, with the U13s taking the second spot.
U12s knockout stages;
1/4 Final – Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Lille – Lost 3-0
U13s knockout stages;
1 /4 Final – Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Beauvais – Won 2-0
1/2 Final – Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs VAFC – Won 1-0
FINAL – Wycombe Wanderers EDA Vs Lille – Lost 2-0
Despite the disappointment at not lifting a winners trophy at the end of the event, the players had definitely proved themselves more than capable of competing against some of the top academy sides in France and were quite rightly proud of their achievements. Both squads got beat by the eventual winners of each age group Lille Academy who are regarded as one of the top academies within France, they had some unbelievable technicians and I’m sure some of these players will go on and play at the top level. This would be the equivalent of Wycombe Wanderers EDA facing an Academy club in England such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd/City.
Following the late return to Adams Park on Sunday evening, EDA Manager Kirk Williams who led the trip along with other WWSET staff had this to say:
“Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ousman Dandi for organising an outstanding trip that was thoroughly enjoyed by the staff & players involved and U.S Boulogne and Jean-Paul Anquez for putting on a very well organised and enjoyable tournament. Our squad’s attitude, behavior and work ethic both on and off the pitch was tremendous, and they were a credit to the football club. Looking ahead to next summer the plan is to hopefully take the same age groups to France again to compete in the Chti’s Cup, and provide as many of our EDA players as possible with a similar experience”.
Im sure you will all join me in saying a massive well done to all involved.
Back Row (l-r); Kirk Williams (EDA Academy Manager), Josh Light, Jimmy Richards, Alex Perkins, Joe Beetham, Olly Pope, Zak Tinsley, Lewis Bloom (EDA Dev Squad Manager)
Front Row; Mackenzie Gould, Ashley Moakes, Harry Grundy ( C ), Sam Gavin, Joe Reddings, Jack Tomlinson
Back Row (l-r); Brian Joseph (U13 Lead Coach), Max Lousley, George Darbyshire, Matt Nugent, Jamil Yusuf, Sebastian D’Aversa. Chris Fraser
Front Row; Haydon Beadle, Ethan Hill, Brandon Campbell, Thomas Cove, Aston Ellard