Dear fans of Middlesbrough FC
To those who fans who are not heading to MK Dons tonight, I am writing to appeal for your support on the same evening when our Under-19s host Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Youth League knock out round at the Riverside Stadium (7pm).
The lads have reached this position by winning the U18 Premier League in 2015 finishing points ahead of the likes of Man City and Chelsea and thus qualifying for the UEFA Youth League Domestic Champions Pathway.
Since embarking in the competition in September they have beaten Stade De Reims, the French National Champions, 6-5 on aggregate and the Italian National Champions, Torino FC, 6-3 on aggregate, meaning they have now merged with the Champions League Pathway, drawing Dynamo Kiev from the Champions League Path runners up.
The Kiev tie is a single leg which, if we progress, will put us in the round of 16 with potential opponents such as Real Madrid, Sevilla and Roma either home or away.
All the games so far have been high scoring edge of the seat experiences reminiscent of the first team's UEFA Cup run 10 years ago, when many of the lads who will be involved on Tuesday would have just signed as an U9 or potentially have been in the stands cheering on their heroes dreaming of a day when they would be able to play in a prestigious European tournament at the Riverside in front of devoted fans.
It would be fantastic if you could be part of making their dreams a reality and creating an atmosphere deserving of the level of completion it is.
Games such as these should be seen as a huge achievement for the club as a whole. Middlesbrough is once again “just a small town in Europe” showing footballing giants such as Torino what we have to offer.
It is an essential part of the young player’s development to be exposed to competitive games such as these in front of proper crowds – it is these sort of experiences that will hopefully allow the lads to eventually progress into the first team.
The last Middlesbrough Youth team to achieve such success was the 2004 FA Youth Cup winners, a team which consisted of Tony McMahon, Matthew Bates, Andrew Taylor, James Morrison, Adam Johnson and Lee Cattermole, to name a few. Hopefully this experience will enable some of the players involved in the game on the 9th to go on to achieve careers such as the boys from 2004 so please come down to show your support and help facilitate our next generation of players achieve their potential!
David Parnaby, Academy Manager.
General admission prices are £3 adults, £2 over-65s and £1 Under-16s.