Guernsey Heads to Gothia Thanks To Louvre
Sunday 16th July saw the opening ceremony of this year's Gothia Cup, where 1,763 teams from 82 nations descended on Gothenburg, Sweden, ahead of the world’s largest youth football tournament.
Louvre Group has sponsored the Guernsey team for a fourth consecutive year, making it possible for the U15 team to participate.
Kevin Gilligan, Managing Director of Louvre Fund Services, comments: ‘The Gothia Cup has proven to be an invaluable experience to the boys in the past, giving them the chance to meet players from different countries with different styles of football. We are delighted to be able to help make this happen again this year so that the next set of players can learn from this trip.’
Preparations for the tournament started back in September 2016, when 18 players were selected for a place on the Guernsey school boys under-15 squad. According to the team coach, Mark Ingrouille, this was not an easy decision due to such a high calibre of players.
However, a squad of 16 was selected and started training twice a week before travelling to Southampton for several games against UK teams.
The final two places on the Gothia squad were allocated after the coaching staff attended local club fixtures.
In preparation for the Gothia Cup, the team played in the Star Trophy game against Jersey. Which allowed them to experience the extra pressure of the Muratti, playing at Footes Lane in front of a crowd of over 400 spectators.
Speaking of his team ahead of the tournament, coach, Mark Ingrouille states: ‘The players are all individually skilled on the ball, showing good technique, looking sharp and threatening as a team when in possession of the ball, so we are very positive going into this year’s Gothia Cup.’
The Gothia Cup, also known as the World Youth Cup, is the world’s largest and most international youth football tournament. This year it will see 4,353 matches played with, 500 referees on 110 fields throughout the week. Teams come from all over the world with the opening ceremony seeing 50,000 players, coaches, officials and supporters come together in the Ullevi Stadium.
Mark Ingrouille, concludes: ‘We fully believe this group will take every opportunity to represent our island with pride and passion.’