Youngsters from Crystal Palace Football Club’s academy sides have returned home to south London after enjoying huge success on their European tours.
Our crop of under-12 players jetted back into England after winning their tournament in Sweden, emerging victorious from all seven of their games to claim a well-deserved title.
Back-to-back 1-0 successes in the group stage over Finnish side OLS and Swedish outfit IF Brommapojkarna were followed up with a 9-1 thrashing of Assyriska FF, as the young Eagles progressed with ease to the knock-out phase.
Another thumping victory followed in their last 16 tie against Örebro SK FK, with Palace this time emerging 7-0 victors – and their quarter final encounter with Västerås IK produced the same number of goals, as our youngsters ran out 5-2 winners to reach the last four.
Palace took their tremendous goal-scoring form into the semi-finals, disposing of another Swedish side AIK by a 5-1 scoreline to send them cruising into the final.
Our under-12s met a much sterner challenge here in the shape of Skiljebo SK, but in another high-scoring game it was Palace who bagged the crucial odd goal in five to win 3-2 and lift the trophy.
The under-11 side were also in action in Sweden, emulating their older peers by reaching the final in their age group.
They cruised to 11-0, 10-1 and 8-2 triumphs during the group stage and were equally impressive in the knock-out rounds, defeating Swedish side Boo FF 9-2 in the quarter finals before brushing aside Finnish team HJK Helsinki 8-0 in the last four.
But although they added four more to their goals tally in the final, the youngsters were ultimately beaten 6-4 in an entertaining final by JK Tallinna Kalev of Estonia.
Palace’s under-13 boys made it a hat-trick of final appearances as they starred in a similar tournament held in France.
After recording three wins, one draw and one defeat in their six-team group, the Eagles set up a quarter-final date with pre-tournament favourites FC Schalke.
But the Eagles took a leaf out of the first team book, defying the odds to emerge 2-0 victors over the German side – a scoreline they repeated in an impressive semi-final win against FC Passau.
That set up a showdown with Spanish outfit Real Sociedad, who had not conceded a goal during their unbeaten run to the final.
Although Palace played with good tempo and enjoyed good spells of possession during the match, it was Sociedad who continued their remarkable tournament to keep yet another clean sheet and secure a 2-0 win.
Pre-season preparations for our academy teams is far from over though – and you can keep track of their progress throughout the summer here on cpfc.co.uk.