ALBION'S young guns enjoyed a successful time at the recent Brasov Junior Cup in Romania – a tournament supported by Baggies centre-half and hometown-hero Gabriel Tamas.
The Under-13s finished the competition as runners-up following a heart-breaking penalty shootout defeat by Romanian outfit Poli Timisoara – while the Under-14s won their third-place play-off with Pajuri Husi 4-0.
The final was viewed by 2,000 spectators, in addition to many more watching on Romanian television.
And Albion surpassed teams from Moldova, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and Slovakia to get there.
Evan Pearce’s 18-yard wonder-strike levelled the game at 1-1 and sent the game to penalties but Albion missed out on cup glory by the smallest of margins – losing 3-2 on spot-kicks. .
The Under-14s lost their semi-final tie with Cautis Steaua Sudului on penalties but bounced back to beat Pajura Husi 4-0 to secure a third-place finish.
Head of education and welfare, and Under-13s coach, Michael Scott said: “It was a great experience for the players to play in front of 2,000 people, knowing the game was also being beamed out on live television.
“It was also a great opportunity to play against other teams from around the world in an international tournament.
“The boys have been a credit to the Academy in Romania by promoting our football philosophy and culture.”
Under-14s coach Jamie Smith added: “Although we failed to win the tournament, the tour will have definitely helped our players to not only develop as footballers but also develop as people.
“They have learnt about new cultures and have seen what it is like to live in another country.
“Due to the links with Gabi Tamas we received a warm reception from the people of Brasov.
“Our staff were presented to the Mayor of Brasov and awarded medals in the final game.
“It has been a great experience both on and off the pitch for the club and staff as we move towards attaining Elite Player Performance Plan status.”