The Young Hoops got their first point in their Youth Champions League Group today with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.
They did it despite having only ten men on the pitch for the final 28 minutes of the game after Johnstone, who scored our goal, was red carded for a second bookable offence. The score was tied when the red card was shown.
This has been a slightly disappointing campaign for the young guns so far, but only if you ignore the huge quality of the teams we’ve played up until now. If the first team squad is financially outgunned against the likes of City and Barcelona that’s nothing compared to how far behind these super clubs our own youth setup is.
That hurts to hear, but these clubs spend obscene amounts of money on their young players, and the strength of German football’s youth setups is a matter of record.
The visitors were the better side over the course, but our young players gave a good account of themselves throughout. T
he result leaves us in third place, on goal difference.
The Barcelona and Manchester City game is on right now; both sides have taken maximum points for their first two games. We weren’t expected to compete with them; like with the senior teams this was a battle for third place, and it’s going to mean a huge game over in Germany.
People tend to forget that our younger players need this challenge too; getting to the Champions League gives every level of the club a huge lift, and these matches can only be good for the boys as they continue to learn.
This is a competition they want to play in as much as the senior team and they are at the bottom of a very steep learning curve.
It’s difficult to see the kids going through at the moment, but they were never really expected to.
This was a tough draw all round.
I am pleased for the boys today, but I hope for a better result tonight.