Rangers Under 13’s win the Decom TOP-D Tournament
Rangers Under 13’s traveled to the city of Venlo in the Netherlands to compete in the 2014 Decom TOP-D Tournament at the weekend and the Ibrox youngsters did the club proud winning a penalty shoot out against Sparta Prague in the final.
Rangers were in Group B alongside AZ Alkmaar, FC Den Bosch, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Sparta Prague and local side IVO Velden. While group A consisted of Dutch sides Vitesse Arnhem, VVV-Venlo/Helmond Sport, German sides Arminia Bielefeld, FC Cologne, Slovan Bratislva from Slovakia and Fulham.
Rangers opened with a game against AZ Alkmaar and a Kieran McKechnie goal was enough to give Rangers a 1-0 win. Next up was Fortuna Dusseldorf and with neither side able to break the deadlock the game ended goalless. The opponents for the third game was local side IVO Velden who were no match for the young Rangers side, who hit six without reply. The goals coming from Kieran McKechnie, Niyah Joseph, Nathan Patterson, Ben Williamson, Aiden Gibb and Billy Gilmour. In the next game the youngsters were brought back to earth, going down by 3-0 to Czech side Sparta Prague.
Rangers began the second day knowing a win against FC Den Bosch would secure a place in the semi finals and a Zac Butterworth goal ensured Rangers would progress alongside Sparta Prague from Group B. Meanwhile in a tight Group A, Arminia Bielefeld pipped FC Cologne on goal difference meaning they would provide Rangers opposition in the semi final. Another 1-0 win ensured progress to the final with the all important goal coming from Dapo Mebude.
And so the final, Sparta Prague had recorded an impressive straight five wins in the group stage and an equally impressive goal difference of 15-3. They proved too strong for FC Cologne in the other semi final and clinched a final meeting with Rangers with a 2-0 win. The Ibrox youngsters became the first side to prevent Sparta scoring but were unable to find the net themselves so the final would be decided by a penalty shoot out. Goalkeeper Brian Kinnear got Rangers off to the perfect start by saving the Czech sides first spotkick. There then followed a sequence of eight successful penalties with Billy Gilmour, Ben Williamson, Jamie Walker and Kieran McKechnie scoring for Rangers. With the sides tied at 4-4 it was left to Lewis McGrattan to win it for Rangers and he duly converted to clinch the trophy.
An added bonus was young Billy Gilmour ‘s selection as player of the tournament. Here’s hoping this side is allowed to continue to develop with their effective and attractive passing game and not asked to “hit the channels” as they progress through the age groups.
A link to the tournament website below:-
Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Aiden Gibb, Andy Rodden, Ben Williamson, Billy Gilmour, Danny Finlayson, Dapo Mebude, Jamie Walker, Kieran McKechnie, Lewis McGrattan, Nathan Patterson, Niyah Joseph, Ruaridh McIntyre, Zac Butterworth.