Incredibly unlucky. We missed the chance to appear in the final but it was undeserved. We gave them a torrid time after a slow start and it took heroics from their keeper to eventually win it for them in the most depressing of circumstances - the penalty shoot out. AZ Alkmaar were no mugs: in fact they had absolutely destroyed teams on their way to this semi and its testament to the ability of our players that they were decidedly second best.
This was the first time I'd seen most of these players and it struck me immediately how well developed they are. The commentator felt the same, exclaiming his amazement at just how well organised and polished the team is. They look and move like a professional outfit already, and they're about fifteen. Great credit has to go to Gareth Taylor for the way he's got them playing and you really do get the impression that the further you delve down through the younger age groups the more gems you'll come across. City are getting these players in young and they're educating them how to play football in a way so thorough that, when combined with facilities the club has now, means surely it's only a matter of time before we see something special unfold.
Myles Beerman was terrific. Fleet-footed and powerful doing a more than capable Ronaldo impression. Diallo glided about the pitch with composure and elegance. He's a man mountain too. The closest I've seen to a Yaya stylistically for a long time. And Hilton was great between the sticks with Bolton up front an old school number 9, but with technical ability. It was the first time I'd seen Diaz since a year ago when he appeared in the Al Kass international cup for the u15s and its remarkable how much he's grown. More than a passing resemblance to Kinkladze, but he tracked back. The future really is bright. I'll be out, but do tune in for the 3/4th final playoff shortly.