ARGYLE Academy have announced the behind the scenes team that will be accompanying the young Pilgrims to this season's Northern Ireland STATsports Super Cup next month.
Former Head of Recruitment Chris Harrison will join Academy Manager Phil Stokes, Lee Britchford, Alex Booth, Abner Bruzzichessi and Mike Sampson at the Argyle base at Lansdowne Road in Portrush.
Normally, the cup ensures that participants travel the length and breadth of Northern Ireland in their group matches but this season has seen them drawn to play all of their first three games at Portstewart, which is about five miles away from their temporary base.
Another significant change for this season’s competition is the kick-off times. In previous years, the youngsters have had morning fixtures, but this time they will play at 3:00pm, 4:00pm and 7:00pm.
Two of the three games take place at Seahaven, which is on the main pitch in Portstewart, and where Argyle had their memorable semi-final against Brazilian side Corinthians.
Argyle meet local side County Londonderry in their first fixture, which should draw a good size crowd at Seahaven. The following day, our young Pilgrims will be on the second pitch in Portstewart as they meet Chilean side O'Higgins at The Warren.
It is back to Seahaven on Wednesday, and possibly the biggest crowd of the three games, as the youngsters take on Premier League youngsters Arsenal.
The Academy staff have already been busy planning the itinerary for the first three days, according to Stokes. "Our group games have been scheduled for afternoon and evening kick-offs, which is slightly different to previous years.
"This gives us more time to prepare and we will utilise the morning to walk through set-plays and shape work before our pre-match meal.
"We didn't get to watch any of the opposition last year and performed extremely well winning the Vase, but we did play Chivas twice. As we film all our games, we were able to watch the video back to help us prepare.
"Between all the staff, we will definitely watch both O'Higgins and Arsenal, as the kick-off times give us that opportunity," concluded Stokes.
The Super Cup squad resume training Saturday, June 15 and have six weeks of intense training before flying to Belfast.