International pre-season tour for Pompey Academy
Pompey Academy will get a taste of international competition this summer.
Mark Kelly's fledgling aces have been invited to take part in a pre-season trip to Holland laterÂ this month.
And there they'll be meetÂ top-flight youth set-ups from the Eredervisie, potentially taking on the likes of AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord and Vitesse Arnhem.
Eight academies have been invited to take part in the event organised by League Football Education.
Along with Birmingham City, Crewe Alexandra, Grimsby Town, Leeds United, Newport Count, Rochdale and Sheffield United, the young Blues will stay in Holland for 12 days between July 31 and August 12.
Pompey and the Mariners will be based at FC Emmen, who were promoted to the Eredivisie last season.
They will undertakeÂ training sessions with top European coaches, before lining up for theirÂ friendly matches.
Kelly's troops will also take part in a range of cultural activities.
These include language lessons, a visit to the Overloon War Museum and a trip to Amsterdam city centre, as well as footgolf, an Amsterdam Arena tour and tickets to watch Eredivisie champions PSV play against KNVB Cup winners Feyenoord in the Johan Cruyff Shield.
Dan Jolley, project manager, said: 'This initiative meets the cultural and sporting aims aligned to Erasmus+ and at the same time allows more than 100 players in the English academy system the opportunity to sample life, training and work in another European nation.
'Many of them will experience playing against continental opposition for the first time.
'˜Learning about different styles of play, coaching and tactics can only help them become better players.'
Meanwhile, the young Blues battled to a 1-1 draw at AFC Portchester on Saturday.
Kelly's side took the lead against the Wessex League premier division outfitÂ atÂ Wicor Recreation Ground just before half-time through Alfie Stanley's deflected effort.
However,Â George Hallahan grabbed an equaliser for Mick Catlin and Ian Saunders' menÂ after the interval.
A number of the upcoming talents have also been involved in Pompey XI friendlies throughout the summer, with many featuring in the 3-0 win at Gosport Borough last week.
Second-year scholars Joe Dandy and Freddie Read were also involved in the pre-season trip to Cork.