Young Reds travel to Spain


The Adelaide United Youth Team departs for Spain this Sunday, to compete in the upcoming 2015 Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) based in the Catalonia region for the second year running.

The competition, labelled, as one of the most prestigious World Youth Football Tournaments will see the Young Reds take part in a memorable footballing journey. The tournament will enable them to train and play in world class facilities as well as face some of the biggest clubs in world football.

In this year’s tournament Adelaide United have drawn in Group A which features: Futbol Club Central Los Angeles (USA), Palamos CF (Spain) and last but far from least European heavyweights Barcelona FC (Spain).

As well as competing in the MIC tournament, they will also play FC Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia) and CE Europa (local team from Catalonia) in friendly matches.

The club would particularly like to thank the Adelaide United Members Club Inc. (AUMC), the Castle Tavern and Aerogels Australia (our Foxtel National Youth League sponsor) for sponsoring this trip and helping to provide young South Australian footballers the experience of a life time. Their commitment to youth development has assisted in securing the opportunity for our young players to test themselves against high level international youth teams.

While the Young Reds have already competed in the Foxtel National Youth League this year, they are currently competing in the FFSA NPL State League. However, The MIC Tournament will allow the players to test themselves against high profile clubs from around the world and first and foremost give the players motivation to learn and improve as footballers.

Young Reds Coach Michael Valkanis believes the experience the team will undertake is a holistic one, meaning they will understand and try to emulate ‘the Barcelona style of football’.

“The trip is about going back to Spain; it’s a holistic experience for us because we are playing the Barcelona style and teaching the Barcelona philosophy to our young players,” said Valkanis.

“We are also going back to where our roots are from by understanding our philosophy. And the boys are going to be able to experience a Barcelona game live and experience the Spanish culture also”.

Coach Michael Valkanis also believes the trip is beneficial for the players, as it will assist them in their development of becoming professional football players in the future.

“The boys who went on the trip last year benefited greatly, as they promoted themselves slowly into The Youth Team. But the biggest learning curve will be that they will get the chance to play Barcelona which not many youth teams get the chance to do.  So it’s a remarkable challenge which we are looking forward to.“

“Last year we did quite well there (in Spain) and were extremely happy with some of the results we got. But in particular, we were happy with the style we played and received some fantastic feedback so this year the boys are ready to go.”


The Young Reds will also look to go one better in this year’s tournament, as a handful of players will appear in their second MIC Tournament. Defender Ruon Tongyik will compete in the MIC Cup for the second year in a row and believes he is ready to mentor the younger boys attending the trip and hopes the team will enjoy what Spain has to offer.

“The team is very excited and eager to take part in such a prestigious tournament which we are honoured to be competing in,” said Tongyik.

“The Squad is coming together really well, obviously we have started the NPL State League off exceptionally by playing consistent football and dominating games. So it’s great preparation heading into the tournament less than 10 days away.”

Tongyik who will be one of the senior players on the trip is ready to assist the young players and ensure they feel comfortable and at ease playing outside of Australia.

“We have a lot of younger players experiencing the trip for the first time this year. Since I have been there once before, it will be up to me to guide the younger boys through and show them what it’s like to play over in Spain”.   

“Overall, it’s an experience which the boys will never forget, so we are hoping we can achieve some good results and show the World what we can do.

“It’s also great to have the support of the AUMC and the Castle Tavern, who through their funding, can provide players like myself and the rest of the team, the opportunity to compete in prestigious tournaments like the one in Spain.”

Adelaide United’s participation in this tournament for the second year along with previous youth team trips to China to play in the prestigious Weifang Cup tournaments confirms its commitment to providing a strong development program for the best young players in the state including competition against the best youth players in the world.

For more information on the tournament, visit: www.micfootball.com

Travelling Squad
Joel De Donatis, Jordan Elliott, Michael Gravas, Connor Lacey, Thomas Love, Clifford Maina, Riley McGree, Yiannis Nestoras, Mark Ochieng, Jordan Pudler, David Signore, Ruon Tongyik, Antoni Trimboli, Alex Woodlands, Oliver Zafiridis

Travelling Staff
Michael Valkanis, Angelo Costanzo

Class A – Group A
FC Central Los Angeles (USA), Palamos CF (Spain), Barcelona FC (Spain), Adelaide United FC (Australia)

Wednesday 1 April 2015
Kick-off 6:00pm (local time) (3:30am ACDT)
Adelaide United FC v FC Central Los Angeles

Thursday 2 April 2015
Kick-off 10:00am (local time) (7:30pm ACDT)
FC Barcelona v Adelaide United FC

Thursday 2 April 2015
Kick-off 5:00pm (local time) (2:30am ACDT)
Palamos CF v Adelaide United FC