McAuley's Youngsters To Face Euro Test And Beyond
Sheffield Wednesday's Under 18s will face foreign opposition in a pre-season youth tournament in the Netherlands.
Sean McAuley's youngsters will face their youth counterparts from German club Arminia Bielefeld and Sparta Rotterdam in Group A, whilst Brazilian giants Botafogo, and Belgian champions, Standard Liege have been drawn in Group B alongside Gelderland club, NEC Nijmegen.
The tournament named Copa del Agatha, will take place in Sint Agatha, in the south-east of the Netherlands, on the 8th and 9th of August.
Wednesday youth teams are no stranger to foreign tours, in recent years Wednesday have sent junior teams to Canada and Italy, where the Owls have extensive links. This move could be just the start of a Dutch link, with the Owls senior side touring the country in 2007 and 2008.
Botafogo, have a wonderful heritage of bringing through world-class players, with the likes of Garrincha and Jairzinho starting their illustrious careers at the Rio de Janeiro club.
Liege, have been more productive in terms of youth development in recnt years with the likes of Marouane Fellaini (now with Everton) making the progression from their youth team.
Sparta Rotterdam are the oldest club in the Netherlands, and they also have a tradition of blooding local youngsters.
The tournament promises to be a tough test, but also a great experience for the starlets and the newly recruited first-years.