• Guest Coach – David Raven
    Guest Coach – David Raven
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    Guest Coach David Raven Visits the Academy

    David Raven Guest Coach

     

    This week we were delighted to welcome current Warrington Town centre half David Raven to the academy at Ellesmere for the afternoon to share his experience and knowledge with the players.

    David has had a fantastic career in football, starting as a youngster at Liverpool FC, the team that he supported. David was at Liverpool under the management of current Newcastle Manager Raffa Benitez, who gave him his break in the first team. He traveled internationally with Liverpool playing with and against some of the top players in the world.

    After being on the fringe of the first team for some time David made the decision to move to Carlisle United where he made 137 appearances for the Cumbrian side.

    David moved again to Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers before making the big move north of the boarder to the Scottish Leagues. He played 153 games with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, where he became loved by the fans and a regular in the team. David helped Inverness Caledonian Thistle to the Scottish cup final with a winning goal against Celtic in the cup semi-final.

    Now pursuing a coaching career, David is working towards gaining coaching badges whilst playing for non-league side Warrington Town.

    David came to the academy at Ellesmere for the afternoon, spending the first hour of the session talking about his time in the game and taking questions from the players. David talked with passion about his love for the game and how he managed to keep focused on his own development during his time playing. The boys really tested him with some great questions!

    When asked what one piece of advice he would give, David said “It starts now! If you really want to be a player and you have the drive, determination and ability to do it, you can, but it starts now. Every day you give 100%, every day you look at doing more, every day you think and act like you are a professional player. Only that way can you make it. The ladder to being a professional player is hard to get on, but once you are on it, it’s even harder to stay on it, so you have to work at it. Never let anyone say you can’t, if you get the knock downs, get back up and keep going. Football is up and down, there will be lots of downs, and the downs can be very hard, but think of the up days, the highs of the game, the love you have for it, and that will keep you going. It starts now!!”

    David then delivered a fantastic session out on the pitch.

    It was another great experience for the players. Mick Brennan, Director of the academy said “what a great day for the lads, and for me. I love listening to people from within the game talk about their experience, and David was so inspirational. He has a true passion for the game and spoke honestly to the players. I think many could relate to him and really took on board what he said, there was total silence in that room as he was talking and each and every player was concentrating on what he said. A massive thank you to David for coming in and I’m sure we will see so much more from him over the coming season”.

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  • Blackburn Rovers Head Coach at the Academy
    Blackburn Rovers Head Coach at the Academy
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    David Lowe, the head coach at Championship side Blackburn Rovers Football club, visited the academy last week to share his experience, talk to the players and lead them in a session at our new training facility. David’s career began at Northwest side Wigan athletic, where he started as a youth player. He was signed as a full time pro by the northwest side, making 188 appearances over a 4 year period. His career then took him onto Ipswich Town, Port vale and Leicester City before returning to Wigan in 1996. David finished his playing career in 2000 with Wrexham, along with a short loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds.

    In 2009 David took charge of Derby county as caretaker manager.

    In 2011 David joined Blackburn rovers as the head of youth coaching, steering the fantastic set up at Blackburn’s youth academy to success. When current Manager Tony Mowbray took charge of Blackburn in February 2017, David was made first team coach, and this season has helped to steer the side to promotion back to the championship.

    Is the session the players were given the chance to ask him about his playing career and about working as a coach and in club academies. The session was something special, it’s not every day a head coach from a professional club comes to share their expertise with you, so for the academy players it was a valuable experience to see first-hand what the sessions and instructions are like from a professional first team coach.

    A big thank you to David for coming to the academy and sharing his knowledge with the players, an experience they will never forget. Good luck to David and all the team at Blackburn for the new season back in the championship.

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  • Manchester United Football Scout Puts Players Through Their Paces
    Manchester United Football Scout Puts Players Through Their Paces
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    The Football Academy students at Ellesmere college welcomed David Bailey, Manchester United Assistant Lead Phase Scout, to chat about what clubs look for in emerging talent followed by a Q&A session and to observe some of the coaching sessions on the pitches.

    The academy students were keen to hear about David’s career in football – from Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool, to Accrington Stanley and now Manchester United – and the programmes he has been part of implementing at each club, including what attributes scouts and recruitment teams are looking for in players for them to move on to the professional game. The students had the opportunity to ask questions about the club, the development programme and other aspects of professional football including nutrition and fitness programmes.

    Following on from the talk, David watched some of the coaching sessions along with Jon Macken, former Man City striker, and  Football Coach Chris Brown, giving David the chance to see the ability of the players, and the players an opportunity to play in front of a scout from one of the top clubs in the world.

    David has worked at the Emerging Talent Centre at Manchester United’s training ground in Carrington since early 2017, and specialises in recruiting from the 12-14 year age group. He enjoys visiting schools like Ellesmere College where academic and sporting success are both supported through the WAoS AFEC programme, and to observe and assess the skills of the young players in their ‘natural environment’ so they are relaxed and their true potential can be realised.

    David said of the 12-14 year old players, “The facilities here at Ellesmere are world class and this group of young lads have demonstrated all the qualities we look for in potential players for the Emerging Talent Centre programme to then go on and play professional football.”

    He also added a word of caution on the levels of self-motivation and determination it takes to succeed, “It’s not an easy road by any means. All young players dream about playing in cup finals and winning championships but the skills required to be successful are many and varied. Ability, fitness, determination are obvious requirements but attitude and discipline are also of paramount importance if a player is to succeed. Even then with all the attributes in place there is still no guarantee for success and that the player makes the grade.”

    Michael Brennan, Director of the Football Academy said, “We are delighted to be able to bring the calibre of scouts such as David Bailey to Ellesmere College and to share his experience and advice with the students.  He was a real inspiration and the lads were wholly engaged in the presentation and training session.’

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  • Academy Showcase Event Comes to Ellesmere
    Academy Showcase Event Comes to Ellesmere
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    The first showcase event of the season was held at the Ellesmere Academy site in Shropshire this month, with 60 players attending from both the Ellesmere Academy and the Manchester academy, along with local players from the area, all wanting to be seen by the club scouts and representatives in attendance.

    The showcase event was the third of the season by the academy, and following the great success of the first two, where a number of players have gone on to further trials with professional clubs or signed at semi-professional level, the staff at the academy decided to bring the format to the fantastic facilities of Ellesmere College.

    Scouts and club representatives from across the football pyramid were invited to the day, which saw 60 players take part in a variety of technical drills in small groups, led by the academy coaches including ex professionals such as  ex Manchester City star Jon Macken & ex Chelsea star Frank Sinclair. Following on from the sessions, the players were all involved in 11 v 11 games, under the watchful eye of the attending clubs.

    Academy Director Mick Brennan said “The day has been arranged to give the players a platform to show their ability, and also to forge links with the clubs out in this area. Over the past 10 years we’ve build up great links with the northwest clubs around the Manchester area, and since the launch of the academy at Ellesmere we’ve had great interest from the clubs in this area so we wanted to invite them in to see the players and try to work with them. From that point of view it’s been a huge success. Among the club representatives we have the top two clubs from the Welsh Premier League in attendance, both have identified players and are open to our coach’s recommendations throughout the season. That for us is a great pathway for these players to progress on into the professional game and get the opportunities they need”

    From the day at least 6 players were identified by clubs to go in for further trials and the academy coaches are no looking through the player’s performance on the day to see who may be recommended to those clubs who couldn’t be in attendance but have asked for players in certain positions.

    Head Coach Nigel Keogh believes these days are vital for player’s progression and opportunity “We are providing a platform for players to showcase themselves in front of people in the game that matter. They need that chance not only to do that, but to play alongside players of a high ability to be able to level themselves at where they are at, set targets for the future if they are not successful this time and build on their career”

    Ex Chelsea star and Academy coach Frank Sinclair said “Days like this are important because it helps players get spotted – it increases the pathways for players. Some are making it through the traditional way at being at big clubs, like I did at Chelsea, which is difficult to do because there are high standards.

    “Not all players have that opportunity and they may flourish when they’re at an older age.”

    “It’s good to be a part of it as I’ve experienced it and you just try to help as much as you can and encourage as much as possible.”

    Over the coming weeks the academy staff will be working with those clubs who were in attendance and those who have requested player details to arrange further trials at the clubs. The staff at the academy wish those players all the very best in these opportunities they have.

    The next showcase event will be held at the Manchester site on Friday 6th April. Places will be limited on this trial due to the huge demand, so ensure you have booked your place early.

    info@edukick.com

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  • Another Guest Session From A Current Pro Player!
    Another Guest Session From A Current Pro Player!
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    Brian in Action

    This week saw another pro player come into the academy at Manchester to share his experience and knowledge with the young players. Brian Wilson, currently a first team player at league one side Oldham Athletic, visited the academy to lead the boys in a series of sessions as part of his coach education route with the professional Footballers Association.

    Like many current professional footballers, Brian is looking to life after playing and gaining as many coaching qualifications as he can to continue his career in the game coaching. Brian has been following the coaching programme with the PFA, the organisation in the UK that supports professional players, for a few months and has been to the academy before to share his skills. The PFA chose the Edukick Academy for their northwest based players to coach due to the great partnership we have with the organisation. At the academy we are able to offer quality players, at times which fit the candidate’s schedules and quality facilities to match when required.

    Brian is currently on his UEFA B licence of the coaching ladder. Brian is currently the Oldham’s longest serving player after joining the club in 2014.The defender signed a two-year contract under Lee Johnson before extending that in 2016 for a further year. He started his career at Stoke City before joining Cheltenham Town. The full back impressed at Whaddon Road, making just under 150 appearances in a three year spell. Despite not being known for his goal scoring exploits, he notched 18 goals for Cheltenham Town before earning a move to Bristol City. His time at Bristol City did not go as planned and he only played 60 games for the Robins. However, a move to Colchester United followed and he was named club captain. In a four year spell, he made 163 appearances before moving back north.

    Brian coaching with the academy players

    Brian signed for Oldham in 2014 and became a fan’s favourite due to his consistent performances. He scored his first goal for Oldham against Bradford City in January 2017, slotting home from the edge of the box. Having impressed Brian was offered a new one-year contract at the end of the 2016/17 season.

    Brian’s session at the academy is just one of many previous and future planned sessions by current and ex professional players. These are excellent opportunities for the players on the academy to meet people in the game, game knowledge from the coaching and Q&A’s but also to get noticed. All of the guest coaches are currently working in or will be working in professional clubs around the area.

    A big thank you to Brian for his time this week and hopefully we will see him again soon at the academy leading a session with the team.

    To join the Edukick academy and experience these sessions regularly contact us – info@edukick.com

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  • Edukick Manchester at the England Training Ground
    Edukick Manchester at the England Training Ground
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    This week the Edukick Manchester players received an invite to the England base camp, St Georges Park. With the big freeze in the UK it wasn’t quiet the planned day, however the players still got to walk the corridors and see the facilities that England top players have graced, and learn so much more about the investment in the English game.

    The Edukick team initially were invited to the home of the England team by the PFA. With the academy’s close link with the PFA and following on from a number of successful PFA education sessions in the northwest, the invite spread to the PFA in the midlands for the team to attend a coach education course as ‘the team to coach’. Sessions were due to be delivered by a number of current and ex professional players, one of which was Ricardo Fuller, Ex-Premier league star and Jamaican international who had delivered a session the week prior to our Ellesmere team. Unfortunately the UK big freeze had got the better of the course which had to be cancelled and rescheduled for the new year at last minute, however not to be beaten by the weather the EduKick team still made the trip south to St Georges Park where they were warmly welcomed by the staff and given an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the impressive £105 million, 330 acres training facility.

    The facility set in the Staffordshire countryside, is the home to England’s 28 national teams. With 13 outdoor pitches, including a replica of the Wembley surface, a full-size indoor 3G pitch sanctioned high enough by UEFA to host international fixtures, a suite of rehabilitation and sports science areas, and an indoor futsal sports hall. St. George’s Park provides world-class facilities for all England teams ahead of international fixtures.

    Home of FA Education and all FA national coach education courses whilst the EduKick side were onsite the English referees were at the facility on a CPD event. St. Georges Park is the base for the England DNA philosophy, which outlines a vision for the future England teams and players.

    Sports science and performance is integral to St. George’s Park. Perform at St. George’s Park is a bespoke sports medicine, rehabilitation and human performance facility which combines cutting-edge technology with elite medical expertise, not only do the England and other UK football teams use this facility, but a number of sports in the UK now use this top performance facility, with Andy Murry, UK tennis star and twice Wimbledon champion visiting just weeks prior.

    The Edukick academy side were able to see where Barcelona had trained during pre-session and shown the impressive Hilton Hotel, which boasts a magnificent England manager’s suite and when the England side are together, is a private hotel for the stars.

    The amazing talent that has been on display at the facility is evident with the signature wall. All top athletes who visit the site are asked to sign the wall, with the likes of Harry Kane, Messi and all the England managers on there, it was evident to see St Georges Park is held in high regard not only by England football, but the wealth of visiting talent from around the world who come. Many overseas teams use the site for pre-season, and currently championship side Burton Albion use it as their training ground.

    A fantastic experience for the Edukick boys once again, a trip to remember. A big thank you to all the staff at St Georges Park for their welcome, and hopefully the January arrivals of players will have the chance to visit when the PFA session is re arranged.

    To join us in January you have to be quick to register. Contact us now – info@edukick.com

     

      

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  • A Record 13 Success Stories So Far This Season!
    A Record 13 Success Stories So Far This Season!
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    Edukick Manchester International Academy has hit an all-time record of 13 success stories from the group in just the first term of the season. The season for the academy kicked off in August for the Manchester based players and September for those on the residential campus at Ellesmere, and in just those 4 months of the season 13 success stories have come out of the academy.

     

    Throughout the programme on the academy, at both sites, the players are presented with a number of opportunities to showcase their ability. This first 4 months of the academy has seen some top names, great opportunities and fantastic experiences for the players, along with the first two showcase events hosted by the academy themselves.

     

    So far the academy has seen ex professional footballers such as Frank Sinclair, Jon Macken and Oldham Manager Richie Wellens lead on sessions, the players have attended numerous PFA sessions coming into contact with current players and coaches from professional clubs in the area and they have all attended two showcase events in Manchester, where scouts and club representatives have been present.

     

    The success stories are massive for the academy, showing the real opportunities that the staff and coaches can present and it’s great to see so many of our young men stepping up and taking those chances. We have seen this term players head off for trials with professional clubs, semi-professional sides signing players in their first teams and reserves and players represent the county following the coaches’ recommendations.

     

    This terms key success stories are:-

    Benjamin Hjun Woong Seol – Signed for Radcliffe Borough under the management of our own Jon Macken and Frank Sinclair, making appearances in the first team for the side.

    Click HERE to read more on Ben!

     

     

     

     

    Will Brookshaw – Selected from the showcase event in October by League one side Crewe Alexandra

    Click HERE to read more about Will at Crewe!

     

     

     

     

    Fedor Dubrovin – Spotted by League one side Blackpool FC at the October showcase event and has been shortlisted by their recruitment team for further observation.

    Click HERE to read more about Fedor!

     

     

     

     

    Kasper GRAF – Selected from the showcase event in October by League one side Crewe Alexandra and has been attending for over a month now, awaiting a final decision on if they will offer a contract.

    Click HERE to read more Kasper at Crewe!

     

     

     

    Chris Rumisek – Selected by semi-professional side Maine Rd for training and signed to play for their first team following the head coach watch one of the academy fixtures.

    Click HERE to read more about Maine Road and the Edukick Players!

     

     

     

     

     

    Clement FULLINGTON – Selected by semi-professional side Maine Rd for training and signed to play for their first team following the head coach watch one of the academy fixtures.

    Click HERE to read more about Maine Road and the Edukick Players!

     

     

     

     

    Jaime Quinones – Selected by semi-professional side Maine Rd for training a following the head coach watch one of the academy fixtures.

    Click HERE to read more about Maine Road and the Edukick Players!

     

     

     

    Will Mullock – Represented Shropshire County representative team following the academy coaches recommendation

    Zac Lennox – Represented Shropshire County representative team following the academy coaches recommendation.

    Click HERE to read more about the boys!

     

     

     

     

    Sudesh MARNER – Invited to train with League one side Oldham Athletic following the August showcase event in Manchester

    Click HERE to read more!

     

     

     

    Buhle Buka – Invited to train with League one side Oldham Athletic following the August showcase event in Manchester

    Click HERE to read more!

     

     

     

    Benjamin Hjun Woong Seol – Invited to train with League one side Oldham Athletic following the August showcase event in Manchester

    Click HERE to read more!

     

     

     

    Kingsley OKAGU – Invited to train with League one side Oldham Athletic following the August showcase event in Manchester

    Click HERE to read more!

     

     

     

     

    All of these success stories are fantastic news for the academy and the individuals involved. Its credit to those players who have taken those chances presented to them which has enabled them all to progress or sample football in the UK at a high level. Just getting that first foot on the ladder of the UK football pyramid is a taste of what they can achieve if they work hard, and having success stories such as Michel Bou Farah around training weekly only highlights what can be achieved by hard work and commitment.

     

    Head Coach Nigel said “Each one of these players has worked extremely hard to progress and grasp these chances and as a coach it’s great to see. They are all real opportunities and that can take them to the next level of their footballing career. Every day at the academy we talk about giving 100% in everything they do, in training, in games and off the pitch and you never know who is watching. Some of these successes came at the organised trials but some came when the boys were not expecting it, with recommendations from us as coaches, scouts turning up to training and games and the big thing is the recommendation by the coaches at the PFA sessions. Every time they step out representing the academy they are on show, and these lads have grabbed those opportunities. We are always there to help, advice and support all the lads, wherever they progress too and whatever level they are at. For these few it’s the first steps and some will be able to step up and match that level, some may need more time, but what a great honour and achievement for them to have that chance now. For us in the academy and as coaches it’s great to see, it’s a success for us too as that’s what we want to do, help our players move onto the next step at whatever that level may be”

     

    It’s a credit to Nigel and the coaches at the Academy that so many players have achieved this in the first term. So far this terms success stories have outnumbered whole season success stories from previous years and that’s very much down to the dedication by the coaching team and support team. The structured and quality delivery of the coaching along with the advice and guidance given has not only shown in the success of progressions, but in results as a team with the Manchester side displaying fantastic performances each game and receiving great feedback from visiting teams.

     

    Director of the Academy Mick Brennan Said “Its been a great first term. With the launch of the new Ellesmere residential site, the new Showcase Events in Manchester with some soon to be added at the Ellesmere site and the introduction of some top names in the area for football with Frank Sinclair, Jon Macken and Richie Wellens on the team supporting Nigel we couldn’t have asked for anything better. These success stories so early on in the season just highlight that the changes for this season are already paying off. We aim every season to provide our players with the best possible opportunities in the game, and its working! Linked in with the fantastic coaching our team provide and the whole support package from welfare and teacher in Manchester and Ellesmere, we have a great platform for young players to learn and train and succeed. It’s great to see and we will never give up on improvements in the programmes to bring maximum opportunities.”

     

    With further showcase events planned, more PFA sessions and guest sessions in the coming term it’s never been a better time to join our team. The academy are taking bookings now for both sites (Manchester & Ellesmere) for next season, but are also opening their doors to players who wish to come for the second half of the season of for a short course to have a taste of the academy.

    Contact the academy now for more information or to book.

    info@edukick.com

     

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  • Blackpool FC Keeping a Close Eye on an Edukick Player
    Blackpool FC Keeping a Close Eye on an Edukick Player
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    In October Edukick Manchester hosted their first big showcase event at their home training ground in Manchester.

    With the launch of the new Edukick Ellesmere site in Shropshire for 11 – 16 years olds in the September, it was a great opportunity to invite along all the players in the UK from the Edukick programmes. At the showcase were a number of professional clubs represented, one of which was league one side Blackpool FC.

    Blackpool, based in the seaside resort on the north coast, were in the Premier League of English football just 4 years ago and have a fantastic youth set up at the club. With the game getting more and more competitive they have scouts across the northwest looking for the next young stars to bring into the academy.

    During the showcase event in Manchester one of the Blackpool scouts took a keen interest in Fedor Dubrovin. Fedor is a Russian player who has kicked off the season with the Edukick academy in Ellesmere.  Fador impressed the scout in the coaching sessions with his work rate, technical ability and his coachability, meaning he can take in instructions, learn and apply what the coach is asking him to do.

    With Fedor being a boarder at Ellesmere, the travelling distance to Blackpool FC is just out of the FA guidance for a player of his age to be attending a pro academy, however Blackpool are keen to keep a close eye on Fedor and have requested a full list of all games he will be involved in this season so they can monitor his progress for next season. Its a great achievement to be tracked by a pro club such as Blackpool and will really open up options for Fedor in the future showcase events once clubs in the area are aware he’s being monitored. watch out for Fedor in the future!

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  • Crewe Alexandra take in two Edukick Players
    Crewe Alexandra take in two Edukick Players
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    League two side Crewe Alexandra FC have taken an interest in two of the Edukick players from the Ellesmere site.

    Following on from the showcase event in October, where a variety of professional clubs were represented, Crewe Alexandra showed particular interest in two of our player, Will Brookshaw and Kasper Graff.

    Crewe Alexandra are a club steeped in player development. Players who passed through the ranks at Crewe include the England international players Geoff Thomas and David Platt, Welsh international Robbie Savage, and Northern Ireland internationals Neil Lennon and Steve Jones (Platt was the most successful, totalling more than £20 million in transfers and captaining the England team). All these were youngsters signed from other clubs, but Crewe also had considerable success in nurturing their own trainees – most notably full England internationals Rob Jones, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson and Dean Ashton and Wales international David Vaughan.

    Edukicks Will and Kasper were immediately invited into the academy set up to train with the squads. Its a great chance for them to level themselves against some of the best players in the area and see first hand what commitment and dedication it takes to play at that level.

    Both boys have worked hard in training and have been a credit to the academy and school.

    Kasper is soon to represent Crewe in a competitive fixture for them to assess him in action and look at further talks on his progress.

    Well done boys.

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  • Non-League Side Maine Road Take 3 Edukick Players
    Non-League Side Maine Road Take 3 Edukick Players
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    Manchester Non-league side Maine Road have taken in 3 of this seasons Edukick players.

    Chris Rumisek, Clement FULLINGTON and Jaime Quinones  have all been invited into the club following great performances in the Academy showcase and several fixtures.

    Maine Road FC play in the North West Counties football League and are based in Manchester. Over the past few months representatives from the club have attended the academy showcase events and fixtures to watch the Edukick players in action. forming a close link with the side, the Edukick coaches also recommended players to the staff at Maine road who invited Chris, Clement and Jaime to train with them for a few sessions. following on from these session both Chris and clement have signed to play for the side and Jaime is waiting to put pen to paper to sign for the club.

    With the boys training daily with Edukick, representing the academy and training and playing with the local non-league side, is a great platform to move onto bigger things in football. All players of their age have to start their journey at this level and prove themselves in the game, its credit to the three lads that they have shown themselves capable at this level in just a few months in the UK.

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