TOWN'S youth team are the Milk Cup Bowl winners of 2012 after a successful trip to Northern Ireland to take part in the annual Milk Cup competition.
A regular fixture on the Town's youth calendar, Jeremy Newton's squad played their first game on Saturday 21st July. They lost 5-0 to American youth side South Coast Strikers in that opening match but won their next game on Monday (23rd) beating County Fermanagh 3-0.
After losing to Liverpool, the Town finished 16th in a table of 20 teams and qualified for the semi-finals of the Milk Cup Bowl as the table format split into 4 separate competitions.
They drew the semi-final 1-1 with County Tyrone before triumphing 4-3 on penalties. In the final they once again met County Fermanagh and put in a repeat performance, scoring three goals without reply to take home the Milk Cup Bowl.
Speaking after his return from Ireland, Academy manager Jeremy Newton told Swindontownfc.co.uk how important the Milk Cup is to the STFC Academy.
He said: “The Milk Cup is regarded as one of the best youth tournaments in the world with teams from as far as New Zealand, Chile, Japan and the USA competing. We feel it’s an integral part of the players’ development and education off the field to challenge themselves as well as the coaching staff to compete alongside players from all over the world. We have been attending the Milk Cup over the last 16 years and over this period of time players that have represented STFC in this tournament have gone on to play professionally either at STFC or at other clubs.
“The week is designed for the players to become more professional throughout the week by monitoring their rest patterns as well as the dietary requirements needed in order to play five games in five days. As well as playing, we take the players to other games in the Premier and Elite sections for their education to see how other teams in the older age groups fare against the well-known clubs such as Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle.
“We took a mixture of players this year: the tournament is for all players born on 1st Jan 1997 onwards. Over the past few years we have taken a mixture of age groups with younger ones benefiting long-term in their own development plan. This was the case this year when we were taking players from the 1997, 1998 and 1999 age groups. The reason behind this is that the 1998 and 1999 age groups can experience the Milk Cup first hand and return next year and the 1999s again the year after that so hopefully they gain valuable experience and hopefully get us closer to winning the Milk Cup itself."
Newton also had a message of thanks for those who had made the trip possible. He said: “Once again the academy would like to thank The Supporters Club in particular Roger Bunce and Michael Dew for all their efforts in raising the much needed funds to support our trip to the Milk Cup. We would also like to thank the club for their continued support in allowing us to take the players and staff away and continue everyone’s professional development.”
Listed below is the entire squad and coaching staff who travelled to Ireland.
Jeremy Newton - Academy Manager
Tony Ricketts - Head Coach
Ray McGrory - Academy Coach
Steve Hale - Academy Goalkeeping Coach
Roger Reeves - Kit Man
Kate Cady - Head of Sports Therapist
1. Matthew Brown
2. Tommy Holland
3. Macauley Dodson
4. Louis McGrory
5. Ryan Wood
6. Joe English
7. William Randall
8. Gio Downie
9. Ryan Radford
10. Tom Farrelly
11. Ollie Hunt
12. Tyreke Johnson
14. Jake Evans
15. Jordan Young
16. Joe Stokes
17. William Christopher
18. Samuel Fletcher
19. Thomas Smith
STFC JUNIOR SECTION RESULTS
Saturday, July 21
South Coast Strikers 5-0 Swindon Town
Monday, July 23
Co. Fermanagh 0-3 Swindon Town
Tuesday, July 24
Liverpool 3-0 Swindon Town
Wednesday, July 25
Co. Tyrone 1-1 Swindon Town (Town win 4-3 on pens)
Thursday, July 26
Co. Fermanagh 0-3 Swindon Town