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Keele Tournament

7 August 2014

Success at Keele Tournament for Vale youngsters

The Warrior Keele International Cup boasts an impressive reputation as one of Britain’s biggest international football tournaments, with over 300 teams and 25 nations competing.

Port Vale Academy entered their 2013 – 2014 season U9s, U11s, U13s and U15s, who all performed impressively in their respective league table formats.

They all had a difficult task to follow on from the winning success the previous year at U12s and U16s.

Academy Manager Sevvy Aslam believes the tournament football is important psychologically to attaining that competition and a winning mentality.

it's a great way to gets the boys in the positive mindset as we then go on and focus on each individuals development for the remainder of the season.” He said: “Fortunately, the Keele Tournament for us is at the at the start of the season,

The U9s finished second in their group, beating Uganda FC and Walsall on the way, not forgetting the team also conceded a last minute equaliser against Stoke Academy u9's in a group game following an early goal through Porter (Yes, Andy’s son, who was present giving his support).

The good performance in the tournament was reflective of the excellent season this age group had, losing only four times all season, even when competing against Category 1 clubs such as Manchester City and Derby County.

in a very difficult group, narrowly losing to Walsall in the final group stage game to stop them progressing to the latter stages of the tournament.rdPort Vale U11s finished 3

The U13s topped their group with impressive results, going unbeaten against Wolves, TNS, Plymouth and Walsall, keenly managed and coached by Lead Foundation Phase coach Lee Foyle and U13s coach Peter Berks.

The final was against Stoke Academy U13s, who topped their respective group.

The rivalry and spectacle of the game attracted a large audience that filled each touchline to capacity.

Vale came out of the traps early on, not allowing Stoke out their own half, which led to a powerful header from center-back Max Beeston.

Vale took this deserved lead into half time after dominating possession, winning numerous corners and creating plenty of chances.

In the second half, possession evened out, but Vale doubled the lead following the hard work of central midfielders Green-Birch and Berks, which led to Dundas finding himself in a one-on-one situation with a Stoke defender.

Dundas produced an excellent drop of the shoulder and a calm finish around the goalkeeper with his favoured left foot.

Stoke then began to step up the tempo, starting to put pressure on the Vale defence. A clever piece of play led to a good strike across the goal finding the bottom corner. 1-2 to the Vale.

Vale were slightly rocked and began to retreat, giving more space to the opposition, leading to a long range strike at goal to give Stoke the equaliser.

After being dominant for most of the match, Vale picked up the tempo again and began to play forward progressive possession football.

The rivalry and spirit of the competition was clear to see and there were a few mistimed tackles, but they were suitably dealt with by the referee.

Vale’s match-winning goal came 7 minutes from the end following a free kick 25 yards out from the hard working Berks that struck the Stoke wall, falling kindly to the excellent Green-Birch, who produced an impressive strike that rifled into the roof of the net.

The thrilling contest ended 3-2 to worthy winners Port Vale, who subsequently lifted the trophy following a great effort from the whole squad.

v TNS, 2-1 v Leek Town. This success was replicated by the U15s who won all their games, including a 4-0 win against local rivals Shrewsbury in a tough group. Further group victories included 3-0

 in 4 games.  A final 2-0 dominant victory against Chester, with a brace from Mottram, was fitting after a tournament in which they had scored 11 and conceded just one goal

The successful performances and results in the tournament reflect the recent hard work of the Academy Staff following the achievement of the category 3 status.

Although losing physiotherapists and coaching staff to premier league clubs, Port Vale can be proud of its Academy programme that has developed & nurtured Players and Staff.

10 additional coaches having the academy requirement of a Uefa B license and Youth Module 3. (u9 - u13)  The Academy from U14s to U18s still boasts an FA qualified coach educator/tutor and assessor, a Pro Licensed coach , 6 A licensed, 2 GK Uefa B specific's and at

This is all kept on track through an impressive CPD programme, which utilises video and microphone analysis of their coaching sessions and an annual appraisal system that is reflective of their experience and knowledge.

Academy Manager Sevvy Aslam believes the staff are key to any organisation and additional staff recruitment has enhanced the department even further....

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