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Pro Touch Soccer Academy’s Under-10 side have returned from another successful tournament in Portugal.

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The Iber Cup is one of the world’s largest and most international youth football tournaments with Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Southampton sending teams to compete alongside European giants Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

Academy director Ash Rahman told the Gazette: “A tournament like this allows the players to test themselves against quality opposition. We place an emphasis on having good contact time with the players so we train two times a week and play two games.

“The tournament was the biggest yet. There were 20 teams involved and we were in a group with four Portuguese teams.”

Pro Touch lost their first game 5-0, and drew their next two games 3-3 before securing a vital 2-0 win.

In the last 16 they won 6-1 before being knocked out 3-2 on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw in normal time.

Rahman said: “Of course it is nice to win trophies but we are more interested in developing players and trying to get them opportunities to progress to professional clubs.

“I think the infrastructure is wrong in English football, The emphasis is still on winning. Managers do not want to let their best players go on trials with professional teams as they might lose them.

“At Pro Touch, players who wish to join go through a four week assessment and then we make a decision on whether we believe they have the potential to progress to signing for a professional club.”

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