Sheffield United Academy team to face Azerbaijan team

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The Blades’ Academy team will face an Under14s side from Gabala FC, an Azerbaijan team whose senior side is managed by former England captain and Arsenal legend Tony Adams.

The game will take place on Monday at the United Academy in Shirecliffe, kick-off 6pm.

Trevor Birch, Sheffield United chief executive, said: “As Tofik Bakhramov is a national hero in both England and Azerbaijan, we felt it was appropriate to name the trophy after him.

“It will be the very first time the teenagers from Gabala FC have been out of the country and we are privileged to have them include a visit to the Blades as part of their tour, which has already included games against Blackburn, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United.

“The trip is also a further step in an ongoing partnership between United and Gabala FC.”

Adams was appointed manager of Gabala FC last May with an ambition to win its national league in three years and to take part in the Champions League or Europa League group stages.

Adams said: “Most of these kids have been with us from an early age. This ten-day trip will see them play against the youth teams of top clubs. Azerbaijan is a growing force in football, with many youngsters showing huge potential. It won’t be long before an Azerbaijani player makes his Premier League debut.”

Former Everton FC commercial manager, Alastair Saverimutto, is the chief executive of Gabala FC.

He added: “There is a real sense of excitement around Gabala at the moment. On the pitch, our players are now being watched by clubs from across Europe, and off the pitch work is due to begin on building a new £50m stadium later this year.”

Bakhramov was the match official who awarded England’s crucial third goal against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.