Pro Touch Soccer Academy trio reach last eight in Portugal

Tiago Santos (right) in action for Pro Touch under-10s

Tiago Santos (right) in action for Pro Touch under-10s - Credit: Archant

Three teams from Pro Touch Soccer Academy all reached their respective quarter-finals at the Iber Cup in Portugal, contested by teams from around the world.

Pro Touch’s under-10 team remained unbeaten throughout their group matches, defeating Spanish side CD Posadas 3-2 before 1-1 draws against two Portuguese opponents – GD Fabril and EF Tenente Valdez.

They finished with a 3-1 win over another Portuguese team, EF4 Linhas, to take second place in the group, but their hopes of further progress were ended by SF Palmense, who triumphed 4-2.

The under-11 side recorded the biggest margins of victory and defeat among the PTSA contingent – following up a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Malaga with an 8-2 success against Portugal’s EFB Canecas.

Pro Touch were beaten again in their final group match, 5-3 to GD Fabril, before EAS Moita defeated them 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals.

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The under-13s recovered from losing their first two matches – 5-1 to IFK Haninge of Sweden and 2-1 to Portugal’s CAC Pontinha – with a 4-1 win over Ass Torre.

PTSA then beat CF Os Belenenses 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw and overcame PFC Academy from the United States 2-0 before Canada’s Unionville-Miliken SC proved too good for them, winning their quarter-final 2-0.

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Academy director Ash Rahman said: “We believe international tournaments allow young players to grow, playing against professional clubs. All three teams went out to the eventual finalists – that shows they held their own.”

Following the tournament, two Pro Touch goalkeepers – the under-13s’ Billy Fleming and the under-11s’ Ashley Ihedioha, both from Islington – have been invited to train with Reading.

Fleming has also been offered a trial at Crystal Palace and training with Leyton Orient, while under-10s winger Serkan Gokce will train with Reading as well.

The Market Road-based academy are sending an under-15 side to Denmark next week for the annual Dana Cup, a tournament where they have previously won bronze medals on three occasions.

Pro Touch are looking for players aged between five and 16, and those interested should call 07732 872 022 to arrange a trial.

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