International football success for Perse pupil

Lynden Long (Year 9) led the way in helping Norwich City’s youngsters claim the illustrious Riga Cup in Latvia.

The talented footballer captained the Canaries’ combined U14/13 team to the title as they took on youth sides from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

It was the team’s second international tournament triumph of the season, with Lynden having also skippered them to victory at the HJK Cup in Finland last September.

He said: “It was great to be chosen as captain by the players and staff again and I really enjoyed having that responsibility.”

Norwich overcame Lithuanian side VFA Gelezinis Vilkas 3-2 in their opening match before beating KaPa United of Finland 4-2, with Lynden providing an assist from midfield for one of the goals.

They continued their run with a 2-0 victory against Portuguese team NFA to set up a winner-takes-all showdown with the youth side of Italian giants Juventus to decide who would top the group and go into the final.

A 2-1 success was assured after a corner from Lynden was cleared only as far as one of his team-mates to volley home the winning goal from 30 yards.

Lynden said: “Juventus were the biggest name in the tournament, but I felt like we wanted it more.

“From an outside perspective we were the underdogs, but we didn’t feel like that. We’d watched a couple of their group games and saw they were good out wide, but we managed that very well.”

Norwich met Leicester City in an all-English final and took the honours with a 2-0 triumph.

Lynden said: “Throughout the tournament our coach had encouraged us to think about ‘NCFC’ (the initials of Norwich City Football Club), standing for ‘Noise, Control, Fearless, Consistent’, and he reminded us of this before the final.

“There was a great celebration when we won. This is the first time a Norwich team has won this tournament, which has been running since 1995, so it’s a great achievement.”

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