Newcastle Reserves have won a prestigious international sevens tournament in Hong Kong today.
Adam Campbell challenges with Villa defender in sevens final
Newcastle have won the HKFC International Soccer Sevens tournament, and it was the first time they have entered the competition.
Newcastle won their qualifying group yesterday by beating HKFA Dragons, HKFC and Aston Villa, and then they beat Celtic 2-1 in today’s quarter-final.
Aston Villa has previously won the tournament five times but Newcastle beat them 1-0 in what was an exciting game in the group stages.
The semi-final saw our lads drawn against their local rivals Sunderland, but it was a late goal from the impressive North Shields local striker, Adam Campbell, that took the young Magpies through to the final.
And their opponents were Aston Villa, who Newcastle had already beaten in the qualifying rounds.
And to prove it was no fluke Newcastle won a thrilling final 2-1, with goals from Adam Campbell and Australian Brad Inman, before Villa pulled one back late in the game, though an own goal by Paul Dummett.
The Newcastle Development manager Willie Donachie had this to say after the final:
“This is unbelievable,” “I thought we would struggle to win a game because we had such a young team, but the players have done exceptionally well, they showed a lot of discipline and they worked hard for each other.”
“I’ve learned a lot about these players by bringing them to Hong Kong. You see so much more about their character, their will to win and how they adapt to different situations.”
“I saw Villa training and thought they would be a threat, and yet we’ve beaten them twice, which is great credit to the players” “We’d love to come back,” “This has been a wonderful tournament for the players and staff.”
The Newcastle captain was James Tavernier, who is expected to push for a first team place next season, and James had this to say after the final:
“We stuck together as team,” “The weather has been a challenge and it was a new format for us, but we’ve done well to adapt.”
“It’s been a brilliant trip for us. We’re privileged to have been invited and it’s been fantastic to come out to Hong Kong, meet the fans here and show them what Newcastle United is all about. I think we’ve shown we have some talent in the club.”
“The seven-a-side format took some getting used to but we learned from our first match. We’ve won all our games and we’ve only conceded two goals all tournament, so we’re very happy.”
The Newcastle Development squad that participated in the tournament was as follows:
Jak Alnwick, James Tavernier, Paul Dummett, Lubomir Satka, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele, Marcus Maddison, JJ Hooper, Adam Campbell, Brad Inman.
Congratulations to the young Magpies for winning the tournament at their very first attempt, and I know our readers in Hong Kong are very pleased with the result, from the emails I have received about this today.
Well done lads!!