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Academy

Town's under-14's triumph in the Oakham tournament

12 August 2021

Town's under-14's triumph over Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Peterborough United in the  Oakham tournament.

In true Shrewsbury Town cup style, the Salop Academy caused an upset at the Oakham tournament last week having won the competition with a perfect winning record against some of the best academies in the nation.

With wins over Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, and Peterborough United, Town's stars of the future went on to secure gold in the final with a 2-1 win over Dundee.

In the final, Isaac England's penalty gave Salop the lead before Jeval Thompson scored following a driven cross from Simbarashe Nyamwanza. Despite the opposition pulling a goal back, Town saw the game out to earn the victory in style. 

The tournament was initially a group stage (teams played six games against other opposition) then into knock out, semi’s then final. Town topped the group winning five games and drawing one with a goal difference of +17. In the whole tournament, Salop scored 26 goals in eight games (22 in the group stage, two in the semi and two in the final) 

Reflecting on the great work of the young Salop team, Coaches Dave Riley and Liam Eaton, Ollie Holt the Analyst and Jack Clements the Physio, David Longwell was delighted Town's young Shrews secured the win in style.

"The under-14's went to the Oakham tournament last week and managed to win in the final. It's a very well-run tournament and we were invited to put forward our under-14's. They were in competition with teams like Nottingham Forrest, Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough United and Manchester United. They all performed well above expectation and didn't lose a game. They won every game apart from one where they ended up with a draw.

"It's massive for these young lads and massive four our academy. It's not just about winning the tournament, it's more of an indication of how our academy has improved. Our Head of Recruitment Gary Wharton has done a great job in improving our squads. Things have improved so dramatically and winning that tournament is a note on our progression. We are delighted that the kids and the staff are getting recognition for all of their hard work.

"They played Dundee United in the final and won the game 2-1. They played them earlier on in the tournament and beat them 3-0. In the semi-final, they managed to beat Sheffield Wednesday. The group stage is where they beat Manchester United and Peterborough. They did really well. Beating teams like Manchester United gives you some indication of where we are going. We are a smaller club in relation to them but our hard work and recruitment showed."

On the future

"Our long-term plan is to get players going right through the system. The plan for those lads is to continue their progression and development. Kids develop at different times and a lot of things can happen. There is definitely a lot of potential within that group.

"Our job is to coach and develop these kids. We need to identify that raw talent and turn them into first-team capable players. You won't pick up that player who will go all the way without putting in the work. We have a definitive philosophy throughout the club in terms of progressing our players so hopefully moving forward these younger lads will progress and one day be ready for senior football. For our young players, there is certainly a pathway now."

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