Stoke City to Send U18 Academy Team to Austin

Austin Aztex Press Release -

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AUSTIN, TX – Phil Rawlins, President of the Austin Aztex, announced Tuesday, that Stoke City FC, its affiliated club in the English Premier League, is sending its top U18 Academy team to Austin in August for eight days of training and playing exhibition games.

The team is scheduled to arrive in Austin on August 12 and will spend eight days in the city. At this time, the team is planning to play “friendlies” against Rayados of Monterrey, Mexico; a team from the Lonestars Soccer Club; and, the men’s soccer team from St. Edward’s University. The game specifics have not been finalized and will be released soon.

“This is the kind of youth team trip that we envisioned when we put together our affiliation with Stoke City,” Mr. Rawlins said. “I hope that next year we can send a representative youth team from Austin over to Stoke, so kids from here can experience the professional soccer environment in England. We are also looking forward to hosting Stoke’s first team players and staff in May of next year.”

In addition to presiding over the Aztex, Mr. Rawlins sits on the Stoke City FC Board and is part of the team’s ownership group. Stoke City will open its season in the EPL with an away contest against Bolton on August 16.

The trip was planned in conjunction with Austin’s Lonestar Soccer Club, the preeminent youth development program here and one of roughly 40 clubs in the US to be designated as a Nike Premier Club. It is anticipated that the Stoke City U18’s will be training at the Lonestar’s primary training facility, Town and Country Sports Complex, in northwest Austin.

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