Recently crowned Derby City league and cup double winners, Belper Town U15’s last week headed off to Spain to participate in the prestigious Mediterranean International Cup.
During the event they rubbed shoulders with some of the elite teams in world football, with the opposition mainly consisting of players a year older in the Class ‘B’ (U16) draw.
This talented group of local boys have lost just twice in two years, but knew that they would have to be at their very best to compete with academy set ups from Spain and beyond.
The group phase saw Belper go down to three defeats. The first was a close 1-0 loss against Israel’s Hakoah Amidar.
Day two saw two more games, the first a 3-0 defeat against the outstanding Alboraya UD, who went on to finish runners up.
Alboraya’s manager was full of praise and could not believe this was an U15 Sunday league team.
Another single goal defeat to OAR Vic, from Girona, meant Belper finished bottom of their group phase.
Belper now entered the knockout phase of the Consolation Cup. The opening round saw Belper face Spanish opposition Ametlla Del Valles, and came through with a stunning 2-0 victory to set up a last 16 tie against Kaptiva Elite Sports Academy.
They are based in Barcelona and import foreign players to train daily and progress to become professional footballers.
Despite taking the lead with a stunning goal, Belper were unable to hold off their opponents, eventually falling 2-1.
Unsurprisingly, Kaptiva went on to be crowned Champions.