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Club News

U12s Compete In Christmas Truce Competition

26 November 2014

Burnley Football Club was well represented when the Premier League marked the centenary of the 1914 Christmas Truce match with the opening of a new 3G football pitch for the community of Ypres.

Under 12 teams from all 20 Premier League clubs travelled to the annual event in the Belgian city, which famously occupied a strategic position during World War I because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France.

This visit involved a Christmas Truce National Tournament on the new pitch, which was opened by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Jan Durnez, the Mayor of Ypres, followed by a full educational and cultural weekend for the players as they visited war cemeteries and lay wreaths on behalf of their clubs at the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony.

During the tournament, the 20 teams were split into four groups of five and Burnley were paired with Arsenal, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion.

After some excellent performances, especially the 1-0 victory over Arsenal, Burnley finished fourth in the group and after defeating Newcastle United in a play-off, ended 16th overall.

The group also spent a day touring the cemeteries of Ypres and they paid their respects at the last call at the Menin Gate by laying a wreath decorated in the famous claret and blue.

Alex Moss who laid the wreath said "I felt really proud to be able to lay the wreath on behalf of the club for all those soldiers who died in the war".

The experience for all the players and staff was something that will benefit their development in the short and long term, and adds further value to the academy.

Part of the academy philosophy is for our players to play against Category 1 clubs and this tournament certainly gave us lots of opportunities to do that.

The Premier League commented on our player’s good behaviour on and off the pitch, and they were a credit to the country, club and themselves.

Mr Scudamore, commenting on the new 3G pitch, said: “The Christmas Truce Pitch is not only an appropriate commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, it is also a unique opportunity to build a lasting sporting and cultural experience beyond 2014.

“Bringing club and community together is a model all Premier League clubs deliver and we are pleased to be playing our part in creating a community asset for the people of Ypres.

The history here tells us that football has a fantastic ability to unite and break down barriers. This pitch will allow young people from all across Europe the chance to do that, linking what happened in Ypres during the First World War to their education."

The tournament and the pitch launch are part of 'Football Remembers’, a collaboration between the Premier League, The FA, the Football League and the British Council, with the aim of engaging football fans about what took place on Christmas Day 1914 in Flanders, Belgium.

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