Tournament for youngsters on derby day

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POMPEY youngsters are to test their soccer skills against rival Southampton youths in a tournament on derby day.

Twenty-four youngsters from both south coast cities are to take part in the challenge at Bransbury Park, Eastney ahead of the championship clash at Fratton Park.

Under-14s who play in the tournament – organised by Kickz, which is part of the Respect programme – will be given free tickets to the derby thanks to Pompey Sports and Education Foundation.

The young players will also take part in a workshop with police ahead of the 1pm kick-off.

Jamie Harris, Kickz football co-ordinator in Pompey, has helped organise the event.

He said: ‘The tournament is going to be played in the morning and we are going to have a workshop with the police so the two groups can come together.

‘It’s all geared around kids from the two cities coming together and breaking down barriers.

‘This is the first time we’ve done this. We’ve talked about doing it in the past – we’ve got good links with Southampton so I thought it was about time.’

About 3,200 Saints fans are set to travel to Pompey by coach for the crunch game on December 18.

In total 17,800 tickets are available to Portsmouth fans.

It will be the first time the clubs have faced each other since last year’s FA Cup when Pompey beat Saints 4-1 away at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.