EPL legend’s ‘phenomenal’ praise as Sydney FC stun ‘creme de la creme’ of world football

The future is bright for Sydney FC and the proof is in their recent trip to Germany, where the Sky Blues’ Academy side gained plaudits after making it all the way to the final of the Under-19 Champions Trophy.

Sydney enjoyed a giant-slaying run at the prestigious U19 European tournament before falling agonisingly short of glory following a 3-1 penalty shoot-out loss to the Academy team of Premier League outfit Everton.

In the words of the tournament itself, it hosts the “creme de la creme of international youth football” having seen the likes of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and Sami Khedira grace the stage, as well as Ballon d’Or winner Kaka, Stephen Gerrard, Wesley Sneijder and Michael Owen.

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The Sky Blues’ average touring squad age was under 17.5 – a lower age than their rivals, yet they conquered German side Mainz 2-0, Belgium’s Royal Charleroi 4-1 and Danish outfit FC Nordsjaelland 2-1 to top Group 1 before vanquishing Bundesliga academy team Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 in the semi-final.

In the decider, Sydney suffered penalty heartbreak following a 0-0 draw against an Everton side led by former Premier League defender and England international Leighton Baines though the tournament itself said the Sky Blues “have gained many new fans”.

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“We have genuinely put Sydney FC on the map in Europe, not just because of the tournament results but because of the playing style and individual performances across the group,” said head coach Jimmy van Weeren after his side played eight games in eight days.

“The feedback and comments received from the other coaches such as (former England international) Leighton Baines, who is Everton’s U19 coach has been phenomenal.

“Every player has played close to, if not 100% of their current potential and they are returning home inspired to take their football to new levels and push their limits.”

Sydney’s squad boasted a number of talented prospects, including rising star Tiago Quintal, who trialled at Lyon last year and was on the bench for the Isuzu UTE A-League team for the first time this season.

Heading into the 60th edition of the BV 04 Easter tournament for the U19 Champions Trophy, which consisted of 50-minute matches, Sydney also played a pair of friendly matches.

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Van Weeren’s Sydney stunned the academy side of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen 5-4 and lost 3-0 to Schalke.

“When you compare our players to the players in European clubs, we are at their level despite us having a relatively younger group,” Van Weeren added.

“Our Academy has an absolute abundance of talent coming through. We are excited to see them continue to grow and develop.”

Sydney FC’s squad for U19 Champions Trophy
 Head Coach:Jim van Weeren
Sydney FC’s results

Monday, 25 March 2024 – Friendly

Sydney FC Academy 0-3 FC Schalke 04 U-19

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 – Friendly

Sydney FC Academy 5-4 Bayer Leverkusen U-19

Thursday, 28 March 2024

Sydney FC Academy 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf U-19

Saturday, 30 March 2024

Sydney FC Academy 2-1 FC Nordsjaelland U-19

Sydney FC Academy 4-1 Royal Charleroi U-19

Sunday, 31 March 2024

Sydney FC Academy 2-0 FSV Mainz 05 U-19

Monday 1st April, 2024

Semi Final

Sydney FC Academy 3-2 Borussia Monchengladbach


Sydney FC Academy 0-0 Everton (Everton win 3-1 on penalties)