Steve Avory on U16s’ triangular tournament at Manchester United

Steve Avory September 2020

Charlton’s U16s will participate in a triangular tournament at Manchester United this weekend with the Red Devils and Aston Villa.

And ahead of the competition, Academy Manager Steve Avory has spoken of the importance of exposing young players to a competitive environment while praising Valley Gold, who have helped the young Addicks’ preparations by providing travel and overnight stay.

“We’ve had an invitation to an U16 triangular tournament with Manchester United and Aston Villa,” he explained. “We have got a good connection with Manchester United and have done for a number of years. That’s been strengthened by Adam Lawrence, who used to be our Head of Coaching who has gone to work at United. 

“We’ve invited Manchester United to our Valley Gold invitational tournament at the end of the season as well, so there is that connection with them. We’re pleased to be invited, it’s a great opportunity for the boys. Our U16s generally play teams in the south and so don’t often get that experience to play teams in the north, and a team from the midlands with Aston Villa being there as well. 

“I do want to make a point in mentioning that Valley Gold have allowed the team to travel and stay overnight in Manchester so that they’re ready to play in the tournament on Saturday,” Avory added. 

“The supporters that form the Valley Gold organisation basically donate, once again supporting our young players on what I’m sure is going to be an honourable football experience.”

The U16s will compete against two category one academies in United and Villa, an experience Avory believes the young Addicks stand to gain a lot from.

“We will be playing against category one academy teams, teams that we don’t normally play against,” he said. “I think it is good for their development that they are playing against teams from other parts of the country, just like when we play teams from abroad it is a different experience in that respect. 

“It’s a tournament that exposes them to that playing for points, to go top of that group of three because on a week-by-week basis our U16s are not in a league competition. They play competitively as we expect all our teams to do, but they are not playing for points. So, they’re in a competition, playing to win and the whole squad - all sixteen players - will get that experience. It does become important to those players and we need to indicate to the players that this is a competition we want to win.”

Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club’s academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.

For more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member, please click here.

Transcription by Alex Forrest

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