Swansea City Under-18s head to Prague for tournament

22nd July

Gary Richards believes Swans Under-18s' trip to the Czech Republic this week will be a great opportunity for the scholars to develop and prepare for the 2015-16 season in category one football.
The squad fly out to Prague today (Wednesday) to take part in the annual CEE Cup which includes young teams from across Europe, Australia and Brazil.
The young Swans kick-off the tour in Group D against Macedonian side FC Academy Pandev on Thursday (July 23) with their second group game on Friday (July 24) against Czech side FC Bohemians 1905, before each team progresses to a knock-out phase.
Richards believes the trip and tournament will be a great learning experience, not only for the players but for academy staff too.
"To have this tournament so early in the season is a great opportunity to see where we are at - the trip will be a great benefit to our players as well," he said.
"When we look back at what the tour in South Africa did for the squad earlier in the year, it was a fantastic experience for our young players and it helped them develop on and off the pitch.
"Working with them each day means we know the lads quite well, but we get to know them even better on tours like this."
In total, ten players have graduated up to Swansea City's U18 ranks this season, joining seven second-year scholars who featured for the team last term.
"We are very excited to see what this season holds for us and how this group of players will develop over the coming year," Richards added.
"Every game in this competition will be different for us. It will be a tough test, which is just what we need at this stage of the season before we start playing category one teams.
"In all we will play four games in Prague and will go out to do as well as we can in the tournament while we will also use the time there to train hard ahead of our first game of the season."
Swans U18s kick-off their first season in Premier League South at home (Fairwood) to Leicester City on Saturday, August 8 (kick-off 12pm).

Swans U18 squad: Lewis Thomas, Ross Treacy, Jack Fox, Liam Cullen, Causso Darame, Mael Davies, Thom Dyson, Liam Edwards, Jack Evans, Kieran Evans, Brandon Griffiths, Sean Hanbury, Daniel Jefferies, Jordan Jones, Ben Jones, Aaron Lewis, Ben Morgan, Connor Quigley.
Keep up to date with the U18s' tour of the Czech Republic via the official website, swansacademy.co.uk and through social media via Twitter @SwansOfficial & @swans_academy and Facebook.