A squad of Mansfield Town academy players competed at a tournament at Brooke House college, Market Harborough, this week – finishing runners-up at the event.
Organised by the college’s technical director, Micky Adams, the tournament consisted of eight teams, split into two separate group stages.
On Monday, the young Stags played their three group matches. Mansfield faced Doncaster Rovers, Brooke House College (team one) and Hungarian side, REAC.
Twenty Mansfield Town academy boys were included in the squad across the two days of tournament football.
The event’s layout consisted of 45-minute matches. The Stags recorded a fine 2-0 victory over REAC in their opener, courtesy of a brace from attacker McKeal Abdullah.
Another challenging test followed; Mansfield played Brooke House with a youthful side that consisted of numerous under-15s. The youngsters performed admirably against a powerful side that have a record of players moving on to Premier League academies.
In the final group match, against Doncaster, goals from Curtis Davies and Abdullah ensured Mansfield progressed through to Tuesday’s semi-final.
Mansfield faced Hull City in the semi-final and performed excellently as 15-year-old defender Cormac Maher and Abdullah scored in a 2-0 victory to see the Stags reach the final.
In the final, Mansfield again faced Brooke House College (team one) with a line-up of players that have played the majority of this season’s Youth Alliance League matches. The Stags narrowly lost 1-0 but produced a superb display against tough opposition.
Professional development phase lead, Sam Collins spoke about how well the Mansfield squad played across the two days.
“All the players are not at school at this moment so they’re training every day with us,” he said.
“Socially, the lads from other age groups are getting to know each other and the way they played and represented the club was an absolute credit.
“I’d like to give a special mention to McKeal Abdullah who was top scorer in the tournament and was voted player of the tournament by the panel of voters.”