Academy boss proud as Matlock earn bronze medals in China
Coach Justin Tellus was beaming with pride after seeing his Matlock Town Academy side return from the Shanghai International Tournament with bronze medals.
The Gladiators youngsters were the first non-league side to ever earn a podium place at a high profile international tournament, which had seen them take on sides from countries including Mexico, Australia and Fiji as well as the likes of Arsenal, who Matlock beat in the group stages.
Their success also guarantees them a place in next year’s tournament.
Tellus said: “To finish with a bronze medal ahead of professional sides from Europe and Asia is just an achievement beyond words.
“The tactical discipline, concentration levels, commitment and strength of mind against top level professional sides in China shows our current methods of players’ in-game development is of a level good enough to prepare them for the professional game.
“People were impressed with our in-game adaptable tactics within our 3-5-2 formation which has brought huge success, but it’s the lads who have achieved this miraculous success and deserve the sole credit.
“It was an honour for Matlock Town to be announced as an affiliated member for finishing with a bronze medal and gaining automatic entry and sponsorship for next year’s event and words cannot express that this is an achievement on an international level that makes us as a club and our loyal supporters so proud.”
The event was won by South American U17 club champions Pachuca FC from Mexico, who beat Matlock in the semi-finals of the competition.
Tellus added: “Our congratulations go to Pachuca and it was an honour to play them in the semi-finals which helped us gain a huge understanding of the U17 and U23 international levels, with nine of the first eleven being Mexican internationals.
“To beat Fiji’s international team, Arsenal and Melbourne City along our journey will also be an unforgettable experience and we would like to thank the people of China for the hospitality and the organisation of the tournament.”