Rangers U17s To Compete In Puskas Suzuki Cup

RANGERS Under-17s will compete in the prestigious Puskas Suzuki Cup in Hungary for the first time, kicking off on Thursday afternoon.

The young Gers, led by head coach Steven Smith, have been drawn into Group A in the eight-team tournament, where they will square off against Real Madrid, Genk and hosts Puskas Academy.

Juventus, Sporting CP, Panathinaikos and Budapest Honved-MFA lie in the adjacent group, with the group stage fixtures taking place between Thursday and Sunday before finals day takes place across the concluding Monday.

Named after legendary Hungarian footballer and manager, Ferenc Puskas, the tournament has played host to several of Europe’s brightest talents over the years, the most notable of whom include Atletico Madrid forward, Alvaro Morata, and Real Madrid full-back, Dani Carvajal.

Real Madrid and Budapest Honved-MFA have each won the competition five times, while Genk and Flamengo are included among the tournament’s champions since its inception in 2008.

Matches will consist of two 30-minute halves and the final tournament placings will be determined by matches between teams in corresponding positions in their respective groups.

The bronze medal match and final will take place at the Pancho Arena, which holds a little under 4,000 seats and recently played host to a pair of Israel’s 2024 European Championship qualifying matches.

Head Coach, Steven Smith, commented: “We couldn’t get a better challenge at the end of the season. We’re honoured that we’re going over there, but our mindset is that we’re going to compete.

“There’s also the prestige of the tournament, playing under the name of Puskas who is one of the greatest players that have ever lived, and playing against teams who are at an elite level.

“It’s good because at the age and stage that the boys are at, they want to go and compete against the best in Europe. It’s a group that I have a big belief in, and I know there is talent and character within the squad.”

Streaming information is available on the official tournament website here, and you can stay up to date with the Light Blues’ exploits on Twitter @RFC_Youth.

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