West Sussex pair off to youth football world cup

TWO 14-year-olds are off on a youth football adventure of a lifetime.

Miles Cassidy-Rice from Westhampnett and Cian Tilley of West Wittering have been selected to represent the England elite football team at the Gothia World Cup next week.

They fly out to Sweden on Sunday and will have an intensive week of training and playing, competing in the group stages from Monday to Wednesday and hoping to progress to the finals on Friday and Saturday.

Goalkeeper Cassidy-Rice and midfielder Tilley play for different local youth football teams, but together represent the Surrey elite team, where they work with top UEFA-qualified coaches and have access to a sports science department and attend mental fitness workshops.

The Gothia event is the World Cup of youth football. Held in Gothenburg every year since 1974, the week-long tournament offers players the opportunity to compete against the best footballers from around the world.

By playing in international tournaments, the pair will gain experience of facing many different styles of play as they take on teams from different continents. They will also experience different refereeing styles as well as playing in front of big crowds.

With an opening ceremony attended by more than 52,000 people, teams from 100-plus countries and TV broadcasts to 42 countries, representing England in this tournament is the ultimate experience for any youth player.