A team of Cheltenham Town Under 13s have won the Easter Open in Limburg, Holland.
A group of young Robins from the Cheltenham Town academy brought home some silverware this weekend after success in Europe.
Some of our Under 13 footballers took part in the Easter Open which was held in Limburg, Holland. The tournament is one of the biggest in Europe at that age range and teams from around Europe, Japan and Colombia all took part.
Our young footballers were taken into the tournament by Russell Milton, Antoine Thompson and Tim Bell but it was Antoine and Tim who managed our winning team from the sidelines.
Antoine is the Youth Development Phase Coach and also coaches the Under 12s and he believes the tournament success is evidence that the Cheltenham Town academy is moving in the right direction.
"It was a massive achievement that we won the tournament," said Antoine.
"Most of the players we took are actually under 12 but they played up a year which was even more of a challenge for them. Tim (Bell) and I managed the side that won the tournament but the other teams did well too and won games.
"It was fantastic news about Joe Hanks and Ed Williams so this tournament victory means it has been a great week for the Academy. Judging from some of the performances from the tournament and at all our age groups, there is some real quality still coming through the system."
This tournament success followed the great news that two local players, Joe Hanks and Ed Williams, were offered professional terms signifies a real step forward for the Cheltenham Town academy which has had a real overhaul in recent years.
Unfortunate news broke today that League One side Yeovil Town were to shut their scholarship programme and Antoine believes Cheltenham Town will always be a platform for young local players to hone their skills and make a real go at becoming a professional footballer.
"It was sad to hear that Yeovil are closing their academy because they always gave us a good game in the past and they have some good youngsters in the area," he said.
"It's a shame because they'll struggle to bring through young players in that area but Cheltenham is lucky enough to be able to give kids in this area the very real opportunity to play football and perhaps one day make a career from it."
If you would like more information about the Cheltenham Town academy, then please visit www.ctfcyd.com or contact the youth department directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.