Crystal Palace Under-12s earned a place in an international competition this December by winning the remembrance-focused Premier League Truce Tournament Qualifier in Portsmouth on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles faced south-England rivals to win the southern section of the Premier League Truce Tournament, a competition which places emphasis on remembering those lost in the First World War.
Taking place on Remembrance Sunday, the Truce Tournament Qualifier sees its competitors lay wreaths, read poetry on the theme of remembrance and recall their clubs’ players who have lost their lives to the First World War and others since.
For Palace, former players lost in the First World War are: Joseph Bulcock, Richard Harker, Edwin Bertram Myers, George Thomas Smith, John (James) William Williams, Norman Arthur Wood, Edward Bell and Donald Bell.
On the pitch, Palace were triumphant and by winning the regional qualifiers, they have booked themselves a place on the annual tour to Ypres, Belgium, where an international Premier League Truce Tournament is held during a four-day trip. While away, Palace will be pitted against the following teams: Club Brugge, Anderlecht, Olympique Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, F.C. Cologne and Hertha Berlin.
The other English teams to have qualified are Manchester City, Burnley, Stoke City, Watford and Middlesbrough.
The tour in Belgium will also see the Eagles visit war memorials and local museums, further educating them about events from the past and encouraging the young players to remember those who have lost their lives in conflict.
Palace 2-0 Fulham
Palace 1-1 Chelsea
Palace 2-1 Reading
Palace 2-0 Southampton
Palace 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Palace 6-0 AFC Bournemouth
Former Academy player and Lead Coach Michael Kamara managed the lads through the tournament alongside his assistant, Lee Beegam.
Speaking on Palace’s unbeaten success in the Truce Cup, Kamara said: "I’m really proud of the boys, especially coming off the back of a tournament last week. None of the boys moaned, they all turned up during the week and took all of the information that we gave them into Sunday.
"They performed and the way they conducted themselves off the pitch was really, really pleasing. To win it tops everything off and myself and Lee are really proud of them.
"The Belgium trip is really going to benefit them because obviously they’re going to be playing against teams they probably never thought they’d get to play against. I’m looking forward to it."
Two players, captain Stuart and midfield partner Mackenzie, earned Kamara’s praise for their conduct on and off the pitch and for their solidity in the centre of the pitch.
Good luck in Belgium, lads, and well done!
The Crystal Palace first-team wore shirts with a poppy printed upon them against Chelsea on Sunday. You can bid to buy one of these shirts and raise money for the Royal British Legion by clicking here.