Sydney FC's academy team will compete against some of the world’s biggest football clubs when they play in one of the most prestigious youth tournaments on the planet this week.
Paris St Germain, Juventus, Sevilla, Ajax and Sporting Lisbon are among the clubs that await the Sky Blues in the 2018 Future Cup, beginning in Amsterdam this Saturday.
Sydney FC are the first Australian Academy team to be invited to play in the illustrious competition, which has featured the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Liverpool in recent times.
Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend says it is a huge honour for the club to be taking part.
“To be the first Australian Academy side to be invited to play in such a prestigious youth tournament is a great recognition for Sydney FC and it shows the high esteem with which our Academy is now held globally,” he said.
“To see Sydney FC going head to head with the likes of PSG, Juventus and Ajax is fantastic and it shows how far we have come in the two years since our Academy’s foundation.
“Our participation will go a long way to helping us forge even greater links with European football clubs and further establish Sydney FC on the world football map.”
The Sky Blues will face the tournament hosts Ajax in the opening game of the under 17 competition on Saturday morning before facing French giants PSG later that afternoon.
Sporting Lisbon are next up onSundayy with the aim of qualifying for Monday’s semi-finals following the group stage format.
The squad arrived in Holland yesterday to give them time to acclimatise to ahead of the tournament and a friendly against NEC Nijmegen on Wednesday.
Academy Director Kelly Cross says the squad will come back better players from the trip.
“This will be a fantastic learning experience for our boys and it will help them enormously with their development into even greater footballers.
“We have a very strong squad travelling and it is an opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the best clubs in the world.
“It’s also a chance for our boys show what they can do on the international stage of club football and I’m sure they will do Australia proud.”
Left back Tom Fay is heading to his first overseas tournament with the club and believes the squad are in top shape and ready to perform.
“There’s a lot of excitement and hype about it. All of the boys are happy to go over together, especially with the group we’ve got because we are very close,” said the 17-year old.
“Everyone is looking forward to playing some good football and testing themselves against some excellent players.
“I think we’ll give it a red-hot shot, and coming off the back of last season’s Premiership we’ll maybe cause a few upsets.
“Playing teams from massive clubs on a world stage will be a good experience for everyone, coaching staff as well.”
The matches will be played at Ajax’s training ground, Sportcomplex De Toekomst.
Sydney FC Future Cup 2018 Match Schedule
Saturday 31st March 2018
Ajax vs Sydney FC – 11.30 (CET)
Sydney FC vs Paris Saint Germain – 14.30 (CET)
Sunday 1st April 2018
Sporting Lisbon vs Sydney FC - 12.30 (CET)
Monday 2nd April 2018
Semi Finals – 10.00 (CET)
Final – 15.00 (CET)