The Rovers Football Club under 10 selection will represent Seychelles at the Madewis Cup Super Final football competition in Bastia, France, the club said on Saturday.
The Seychelles’ side, which left on Monday, is made up of talented young Seychellois players chosen from schools all throughout the nation based on their technical football skills.
The team is led by head coach Rupert Pool and academy director Lucas Panayi, and has trained three to four times a week prior to their departure.
The Madewis Cup Super Final, a prominent football competition in France, attracts more than 12,000 amateur children ages 6 to 13.
The head coach said, “We are thrilled to be competing in an international tournament of such prestige with some of the best teams in Europe.”
He added that this “will be a huge challenge but one the players have been working hard to prepare for. We are excited to see how they will perform but most importantly we are excited to provide them with this opportunity and valuable experience for their continued football development.”
At last year’s tournament, Seychelles fielded two teams, competing in the under 10 and under 12 categories.
According to the Rovers management, the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) did not have the budget to send teams to the tournament, so the team sought funding from their local sponsors.
The Rovers left Seychelles on Monday heading to Marseille for a training camp, before playing at the tournament from June 1-4 at the Stade Armand Cesari.
The Seychelles’ side has been drawn in Pool A, together with Olympique Lyonnais, AC Ajaccio, ES Trinite Lyon, Marignane Gignac, and Rosieres OS.
Pool B comrpises of Marseille, Bastia, Metz, US Creteil Lusitanos, Merignac Arlac and Boulogne Billancourt.
The young players are expected to play short 12-minute matches on half of the regular pitch, with each team fielding eight players.
Some of the professional players involved in the Madewis Cup in the past include Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte.
After the tournament, the team will spend a day in the famous academy of Zinedine Zidane, where they will train and play together with their French counterparts before returning to Seychelles on June 8.