This weekend saw teams from United’s academy travel down to Platt Lane, Manchester, to compete in the New Balance Easter Cup.
The under-9’s and under-10’s took part in one-day tournaments against teams from all over England. Both teams competed excellently, played some very good football and represented the club fantastically well.
The under-15’s tournament was held over two days. This included an overnight stay where the players spent time developing their team spirit and togetherness as a group.
We are delighted to report that our under-9 squad ran out as winners in their competition. Despite this being their first season in academy football, they are a very determined group who went through the group stage of the competition unbeaten.
Coach Robbie Edgar said: "The boys were unbeaten all tournament and played fantastic football. Their hard work off the ball was the difference in the end, and our opponents couldn't handle our determination."
The under-10 squad were also unbeaten through the group stages and topped their group, despite coming up against some very good opposition. Unfortunately, the team lost in the semi-final by a solitary goal, despite having hit the post and having a shot cleared off the line.
Coach Mark Birch said: “Despite having lost the semi-final, the boys have played excellent football against some decent opposition. The team have very good potential going forward, and losing in a semi-final will hopefully benefit the players next time they play in a competitive tournament, as they have now experienced what it feels like to lose when the result matters.”
Capping off an excellent weekend of football for the club, the under-15 squad also ran out as winners in their competition. They went up against teams from England, Denmark and Northern Ireland.
Having finished second on goal difference in the group, they faced Dungannon United, from Northern Ireland, in the semi-final. The Dungannon side included three players with Northern Ireland under-15 caps.
It was a tight game, but Lewis Rooks bagged the winner for the Blues with 10 minutes left to play.
This took the lads through to the final, where they faced Birmingham St Georges. Both sides defended well, and it went straight to penalties with no goals having been scored.
Two fantastic saves from keeper Isaac Robinson meant Carlisle United’s under-15’s were crowned tournament winners.
This was a fantastic experience for all players involved across the age groups. They represented themselves, their families and the club exceptionally well.
Congratulations go to all of the boys who took part – well done.
A huge thank you goes to CUSC London Branch. A donation from them helped to fund our participation in this event.
London Branch chairman Ian Jardine said: “The London Branch have looked this season to support causes with an emphasis on 'Youth' and were pleased to be able to help fund the academy teams to take part in these Easter tournaments.
"Having taken both boys and girls to similar tournaments in the Netherlands, and written the book, I can vouch for the positive benefits they bring. It is a tremendous way of creating a team spirit, establishing a high bar and still achieving the goal, as well as a huge learning experience. And that is just by taking part.
"The three teams have done much more than that and come away with the knowledge that they have faced some highly talented teams and come out on top. This has had to come from a great deal of hard work, not just by the players, but also the coaches. I think the parents and guardians should not be forgotten too.
"Therefore a big ‘thank you’ from the London Branch, to everyone, for bringing some Easter cheer, some sunshine in this miserable weather."