Blues triumph in China

Blues won every game in the tournament and conceded just two goals.


Blues Under-14s have won the Beijing International Schools Cup.

They defeated hosts Renmin University School 4-0 in the final with Harvey Siddall (two), Aidan Finnegan and Cianole Nguepissi scoring.

That was not Blues only success from their eight-day trip.

Mike Dodds was named the competition Best Coach, Aidan Finnegan was awarded Best Player, Brad Mayo Best Goalkeeper and Finnegan also finished joint top-scorer with four goals.

Blues won all three group games to qualify for the semi-finals.

They opened with a 6-0 victory against Xi'an Tie Yi District (goals from Amarie Brown, Harvey Siddall, Cianole Nguepissi, Aidan Finnegan, Connor Barratt, Angus McDermott).

Then Chongqing No. 7. were seen off 7-1 (Connor Barratt, Cianole Nguepissi, Harley Hamilton, Amarie Brown (two), James Matthews, Aidan Finnegan scoring).

They won their last group match 1-0 against Henan Province Experimental thanks to a goal by George Hall as the searing heat and humidity in China's capital reduced their free-scoring effectiveness.

The semi-final, against Jakarta of Indonesia, was a close affair, too. But a brace from Aidan Finnegan clinched a place in the final 2-1 and a showdown with Renmin University School.

It was not just about the football for the boys, however.

They immersed themselves in the culture and visited The Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace dating back to the Ming dynasty, Tiananmen Square and The Summer Palace. There was a group trip to the Great Wall and Blues even managed to take in a pre-season friendly, Arsenal v Chelsea at the iconic Bird's Nest stadium.

This is the first time Blues Academy has visited China to compete in a tournament. The Club's owners arranged the trip as part of a strategic desire to promote and showcase the Academy programme as well as provide the boys with new footballing and life experiences.