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Lisburn has Dutch of class

By Chris Holt

Lisburn Youth have built up a reputation over many years for providing Northern Ireland's international side with some of our best players.

Current skipper Aaron Hughes, record goalscorer David Healy and Manchester United defender Johnny Evans, to name just a few, all honed their skills in the amber jersey of the famous youth team.

Now a new batch of youngsters look set to make a push for careers at the highest level and they've already bagged medals at an international tournament.

The under 13 side have recently returned from Holland and with them came a sparkling trophy having won the Drenthe Cup.

Lisburn Youth began their tournament by winning all of their group games - wracking up a glut of goals in the process and not conceding any. Winning 7-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 4-0 they saw off Dutch professional club AGOVV Apeldoorn and semi professional clubs SG Hemer, VV Maasdijk and MVV Alcides respectively.

In the quarter finals they comfortably beat another Dutch professional club Almere 4-0 before beating local side HSV de Zuidvogels in a penalty shoot out. HSV had been favourites to win the competition.

That led the tiring Lisburn lads to the final and another tight encounter, this time against VV Purmersteijn.

However, despite the intense heat and the packed schedule, Lisburn Youth stepped up to the mark one more time and ground out a fantastic 1-0 win and in turn keeping up their record of not letting in a single goal throughout the entire competition.

Manager Mark Savage said: "The lads were outstanding from back to front but special praise goes to Stefan Graham in goals who saved two penalties in the semi final shootout."

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