U15 Report - Eendracht Aalst Tournament 13.05.10


Norwich City Under-15s secured a second piece of silverware for Norwich City within the space of a few days as they returned this week from Aalst in Belgium as winners of the International Youth Tournament staged by host club Eendracht Aalst.

The trip to Thursday’s tournament was sponsored by Friends of Norwich City Youth (FONCY) and the NCFC Shareholders association. The youngsters paid back the faith of the Canary supporters to win the tournament convincingly.

The Canary squad travelled over by Eurostar on Wednesday and made the short transfer from Brussels to Aalst to their hotel on the outskirts of the host City.

Thursday morning saw a damp and cold day in Belgium as the Canaries transferred to the tournament venue where, blessed with a late first match at 11:00 am, had plenty of time for the obligatory team photo with the local club mascot before warming up for their opening group game against host club Eentracht Aalst.



In truth the match against Aalst allowed the Canaries to ease themselves into the competition. It only took a minute or so for the Canaries to go ahead and they dominated the whole 25 minute match encamped in the opposition half. Three further goals followed at regular intervals, including one own goal, as the side from the Belgium third division club failed to cause Norwich any problems.
Photo Gallery from the match against Eendracht Aalst

There was only a short break before the second group match against KSK Beveren. On paper the Belgium Juliper League club was expected to provide stiffer opposition and indeed they certainly kept the Norwich midfield and defence occupied for the first few minutes. However with their first real attack in the sixth minute Norwich took the lead with some clinical finishing and never looked back after that, again rattling in three further goals before the end of the game.

The meant Norwich topped their group in the most convincing style and were to face KVC Westerlo in the quarter-final after a pasta lunch.

Photo Gallery from the match against KSK Beveren

The quarter-final was to start with a bang. Direct from the kick-off midfielder Reece Johnson-Hall, who had already scored two goals in the group games, spotted the Westerlo keeper off his line and shot from within the centre circle. The keeper was able to get his hand to the ball but not prevent it going into the goal for a remarkable strike.

The Norwich players were overjoyed, the Westerlo players shell-shocked, and the game seemed almost decided before it had started.

Norwich again had the lions share of the play and scored two further goals in the last ten minutes to set up a semi-final against FC Antwerp.

Photo Gallery from the match against KVC Westerlo

The Antwerp match resulted in a 1-0 victory for Norwich. What on the face of it looks like a close match was never really in doubt. Norwich went ahead from a fourth minute Tim Cary strike and were able to contain Antwerp almost a will, without producing the goals of the earlier games. Antwerp continued the match with a defensive approach and Angus Gunn in the Norwich goal only had a rescue on one occasion as Norwich progressed to the final where they would face Dutch club ADO Den Haag.

Photo Gallery from the match against FC Antwerp

The Dutch opponents in the looked a different class of opposition and were certainly able to match Norwich physically. However after such a good tournament Norwich went into the game in a positive frame of mind. Again an early goal set Norwich on their way, and again what a goal it was. Josh Murphy struck a perfect half-voley from outside the box over the keeper and into the far corner to send his teammates into raptures.

With the final being played over two 15 minute halves the teams turned around with the score still 1-0 and Norwich looking comfortable. Early in the second half another class goal decided the match with Cameron McGeehan finishing well after some flowing football. Only now did Angus Gunn have to show his class in the Norwich goal as he turned a goalbound effort around the post and it came as now surprise when Norwich added a third towards the end of the game to clink the tournament.

Photo Gallery from the match against ADO Den Haag

Norwich received two trophies at the presentation ceremony with Midfielder Reece Hall-Johnson being awarded the player of the tournament trophy after scoring five goals. They were then able to enjoy the rest of the evening and their stay in Aalst and can be congratulated not only on a fine tournament but also being a credit to Norwich City off the pitch.

Photo Gallery from the Presentation Ceremony

Results table

Opponents Result Scorers
Eendracht Aalst
Hall-Johnson, Carroll, Own-Goal, Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald, Cary, Hall-Johnson, Morris
Westerlo (q/f)
Hall-Johnson 2, Cary
FC Antwerp (s/f)
ADO Den Haag (f)
Josh Murphy, McGeehan, Hall-Johnson

The Squad
Angus Gunn, Josh Ramm, Ben Wyatt, Rian Carroll, Harry Barker, Henry Randall, Cameron McGeehan, Reece Hall-Johnson, Tim Cary, Jacob Murphy, Josh Murphy, Adam Fitzgerald, Henry White, Cameron Norman, Carlton Morris.

Dean Rastrick (Assistant Academy Manager), Ben Smith (Coach / Education and Welfare Officer),
Chris van Hedges (Physio).

Report and Photos from Paul Standley.