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Club News

Russia trip for Rovers youngsters

19 April 2014

A Blackburn Rovers Academy squad will travel to Russia next week to take part in a prestigious youth tournament.

Rovers have been invited to play in this year's Spartak Cup where they'll come up against some of the best youth teams in Europe.

The six-team tournament takes place from Tuesday 22nd April until Sunday 27th April in the Russian capital, Moscow.

"We were at an Under-15 Premier League tournament in August and played Spartak Moscow and got to know their staff," explained Gary Finley, lead youth development phase coach at the Academy.

"At the tournament, at St. George's Park, emails were exchanged, we invited them over to come and play us, then in November they invited us to the Spartak Cup.

"Last year Barcelona won it, but they were unable to come back this year to defend the trophy. This year the teams taking part are Monaco, Dinamo Minsk,  Krasnodar, Spartak Moscow, Rapid Vienna, plus ourselves.

"It is probably one of the most prestigious tournaments in European football at under-17 level, so we've done really well to be invited there."

The six teams play in a league format, with each team playing each other once and the team winning the league will lift the trophy.

In preparation for the tournament Rovers entertain German side Borussia Mönchengladbach at Brockhall this Saturday 12 noon before they travel to Russia on Monday.

Rovers kick-off their cup campaign against Monaco on Tuesday April 22nd, followed by games against Dinamo Minsk, Krasnodar, Spartak Moscow, with their last match against Rapid Vienna taking place on Sunday 27th April.

Finley added: "The boys are talking about it all the time. It has probably come at the right time for them. Sometimes you are looking towards the end of the season, but it has given everyone a little bit of a lift knowing that they are going to Russia.

"It definitely will be a challenge for the players, the standard will be really good. Spartak Moscow's under-15s were really good in the tournament we played, so we can imagine the older age groups to be just as good, if not better.

"Again, the quality of the teams that are there tells you that it is going to be a decent tournament."

The following 16-player squad will travel to Russia: Josh Askew, Stuart Callaway, Jack Doyle, Mark Edgar, Adrian Edo, Andrew Fisher, Lewis Hardcastle, Ramirez Howarth, Sam Joel, Lewis Mansell, Ryan Nyambe, Matthew Platt, Hyuga Tanner, Willem Tomlinson, Scott Wharton and Callum Williams.

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