One of European football’s most highly acclaimed youth academies will be hoping to live up to its reputation when Spanish club Espanyol debut at the Dale Farm Milk Cup this summer.
The Barcelona-based club will send representatives to contest the Premier section of the international youth football tournament.
The Spaniards have produced some top international players down the years and a former Milk Cup graduate, ex-Manchester City winger Vladimir Weiss, had a spell on loan with them after being spotted by City scouts playing for Slovakia’s Under-17 national team at the tournament.
The Espanyol academy blossomed during current Southmpton boss Mauricio Pochettino’s spell in charge of the senior side. He enhanced the academy’s role and took an extrememly keen interest in the development of young players from an early age.
Indeed, Southampton’s commitment to the Ulster event has been underlined by confirmation of their return in the Junior event.
Meanwhile, one of the tournament’s most loyal supporters, Newcastle United, are returning in the Premier Milk Cup and U-18 coach Dave Watson, the former England and Everton star, is challenging his youngsters to go one step further than the club’s representatives two years ago and win the Milk Cup.
Former Premier winners, Dublin club Cherry Orchard, are also back in the line up for this year’s competition.