Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak was impressed with the manner in which the academy secured yet another trophy, as they became U18 Premier League national champions on Saturday.
The U18s pipped Manchester United to the North division title earlier this month in a thrilling title race, earning City the chance to become national champions against South division winners Fulham.
City were quick out of the blocks, led by the exciting Sam Edozie, as they took a 2-0 lead within seven minutes and were three up by the break to run out 3-1 winners.
And as the presentation stage was being prepared, City chairman Al-Mubarak made his way pitchside along with CEO Ferran Soriano and Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain to watch the youngsters lift their trophy – completing their status as current holders of every trophy at academy level.
After a conversation with the chairman, U18s head coach Carlos Vicens told MEN Sport what the pair discussed.
“He wanted to congratulate us for the achievement, he was very pleased to see how we performed today in a final,” said Vicens.
“He gave us the message to give to the players that he’s very proud of what we’ve achieved this season. I also thank him for attending a game that is important for us, they have the priority of the first team, but seeing that these people, not just him but the CEO, Sporting Director, Academy Director, everybody is supporting the team in an important game for us here, makes you feel very grateful for them to be here.”
Vicens said that the character shown by his young side over the last two months in their title race and national final will bode well on their prospects of potentially reaching the City first team.
He said: “More than winning the trophy is knowing when you play for Man City you need to be able to handle the pressure that it means to play for Man City.
“In any competition you face and compete in, you are supposed to do very well. That’s been one of the greatest things this season, that we knew we had to be at the top because this is what our badge says.
“Within our style, never winning out of place, it’s always winning within our style and our concepts.
Which youngsters could be next to reach the first team? Let us know in the comments here.
“Having to do what we have done in the last two months has been a great experience, great learning, opportunity to feel what it means to have the pressure to win titles.
“Going through these moments of having to win, playing the way we play, brings this extra of experience that you need before you have the opportunity to go to the first team. It prepares you for that moment when it comes.
“If it’s not in this club, because obviously it’s not easy to make it at this club, it prepares you for playing at any level at any other club. It’s been a great couple of months.”