Aidan Isherwood reports from Italy at the Montichiari U 13 s International tournament.
The above elite invitation-only tournament finished an hour or so ago.16 teams including the academies or equivalents of Milan, Juventus, Chievo, Red Bull Salzburg and Hibernian.
A prestigious event. Two things impressed me about the way it was organised:
Firstly, every team was guaranteed the same number of games, six; with play-offs leading to rankings from one to sixteen. So every game meant something. But I have seen that before.
What I hadn’t come across at any competition I’ve seen or heard of, was a rule stimulating that every member of the squad, as in the starting 11 plus all substitutes, had to play at least one complete half. Not just a total of 20 minutes (they were games of 2 x 20 mins) but a full continuous half.
That certainly made coaches think. And made sure no one travelled to the games and sat on the bench. For such a significant tournament, the rule worked simply and effectively.
Just saying “make sure everyone gets a bit of a run out” does not work in the heat of competition. Legislation does.