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Great Oak

Congratulations are extended to a number of Cliftonville Academy teams who have excelled on various fronts in recent days.

Last week, our Under-12s produced a string of fine performances in the Oakham Tournament, where they kicked off with a 5-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, a 1-1 draw against hometown side Birmingham City and a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Doncaster Rovers.

When the group phase of the competition got under way, the Wee Reds got the better of both Sunderland and New York before defeating Nottingham Forest and drawing with Go Pro Dubai.

With those results seeing the team progress to the semi-finals of the Gold Cup, a 1-0 loss to Dundee ended Cliftonville’s hopes of lifting the trophy but a 3-2 win against Sunderland ensured a very respectable third place finish.

Closer to home, meanwhile, the weekend saw our Academy toast a double at the Markethill Tournament, where our Under-8s and Under-7s (above) went all the way in their respective age groups.

And completing a fine week for our stars of tomorrow, the Reds’ Under-13s (above) lifted the Shield in yesterday’s Belfast Youth Cup competition.

Well done to all the players and coaches involved and, as ever, we reserve a special mention for the boys’ proud parents and families as they continue their football journeys with us at Solitude.