The Yellows Academy, among the best in the world
The Yellows Academy, among the best in the world

The Submarine’s U13s team put in a great performance in LaLiga Promises International

The Yellows Academy is once again competing with the best on the planet. The Yellows U13s competed last weekend in LaLiga Promises International in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, putting in a brilliant performance and competing toe to toe with all their opponents.

The boys, coached by José Mataix and Pier Luis, the members of the coaching staff who travelled to the islands, along with physiotherapist Santi Izquierdo and coordinator Héctor Font, got through the group stage (paired with Atlético de Madrid and Borussia Dortmund) and lost in the quarter-finals against Benfica.

Nerves can get the better of these promising young European footballers, but the Groguets responded well despite the excitement of an event of this calibre. “We compete on a level playing field against any youth team in the world. In the first game we weren’t very clinical and, even so, we managed a draw against Atlético de Madrid and we could have beaten them. The boys were a bit nervous because it was the first game, the change to 7-a-side football and the cameras. Atletico had played another game before and that shows,” says Mataix about the first match.

For his part, Luis adds that the team managed to bounce back from this draw and bring out their full footballing potential in their second match, this time against none other than Borussia Dortmund: “Against Borussia we were far superior. We had that feeling during the game and then, watching the video, we confirmed it. They are a very physical team, like many teams in the tournament, such as Benfica, who knocked us out in the quarter-finals”.

And the fact is that many of the opponents were physically superior to the Yellows Academy players, who base their game on other aspects with future prospects. “We base our game on other things, on having the ball and trying to generate advantages. We were able to do that against Borussia and also against Benfica, especially in the first half, but they beat us with two shots. Individual duels are very important in 7-a-side football and if they beat you one-on-one they generate a huge advantage,” explains Mataix.

His coaching team-mate Pier adds that “we highlight to the boys the situations in which we have managed to dominate teams of this type. For example, we started by beating Benfica from set pieces, which is a very important aspect of the game. When we have the ball, we are able to dominate games against older or bigger players and, when the physicality evens out, we have won the game”. In this way, the players believe in the style of play practised at Miralcamp.

Merit for everyone

The most difficult part for a coaching staff facing this type of big events in youth football is the selection of players. The U13’s groguet competes in the Autonomous League of its division, corresponding to the 11-a-side football stage, while the international tournament in Gran Canaria was for 7-a-side football, so some members of the squad were unable to travel.

“The fact that we are competing here against these youth teams is also possible thanks to those who have stayed at home. Many are not even staying because of their level, but because of their position. They have helped us to be here,” said the coaching staff of this Yellows U13s team that is giving a lot of joy to the Yellows Academy and still has a long way to go in youth football.