What a feast of Youth football we had in Cyprus last week the KOPA Youth players all Cypriot origin from the age of fifteen and nineteen arrived in Cyprus Sunday October the 28th staying and training in Limassol and arrived back in the UK Monday night November the 5th . It was an initiative started by the Cypriot Sports Association (KOA) and the Cypriot Football League in the UK (KOPA).
The purpose of this project is to find players in Great Britain to represent the Cyprus National sides at different age groups. Judging by the response from clubs and National team representatives they were pleased with the quality and character of the KOPA players.
It all began last season with players sourced through English Youth Leagues, Cypriot Youth Clubs and of Course the KOPA League.
A sub committee was formed consisting of Tony Antoniou, Nick Demetriades, Kokos Georgiou, Kypros Kyprianou, Mario Michael, Michalakis Michael, Andy Savva and Michael Yiakoumi.
Their first job was to appoint a management team and it was decided that Tom Loizou a former Leyton Orient manager and UEFA A coach would be manager, the coaches selected were David Cumberbatch UEFA B Licensed coach and ex West Ham School of Excellence Coach. John Fitsiou who has a University degree in Sport and Science is also on board he was the Leyton Orient first Team fitness coach and also a sports scientist at the Leyton Orient Centre of Excellence. John is also the head of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Educational Programme at Southgate College. Peter Theori a UEFA B licensed coach who works at Leyton Orient centre of excellence and who also works as Head of the Sports Dept of The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.Jack Demetriou is a chartered physiotherapist with a wealth of experience in professional sport. He has worked with Arsenal, West Ham United, Chelsea, Leyton Orient, and AC Milan. He is presently working with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, a lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology and owns a private practice. He is also the England U 23 Physiotherapist. Finally the goal keeping coach Nick Christofi who have all volunteered their services.
Three games were played an Under 16 game versus the Cyprus National side was arranged by the Cyprus Football Association KOP where there was an allowance for a couple of over aged players for both sides and two under 19 games versus AEL and New Salamis.
As well as the football the delegation and players paid a visit to the Presidential Palace
The support from the Cyprus Community was fantastic RIK TV filmed the games plus the KOPA Youth squad training and even interviewed players. The Cyprus newspapers covered the tour as well which was very pleasing in their immense interest.