JERSEY’S tournament victory in Madeira ranks among ‘one of the best’ achievements overseen by Performance Centre manager Paul Renton.
The Island’s top under-15 boys got the better of Portuguese Primeira Liga club CS Maritimo in the final of the 2023 Torneio Madeira Jovem, after holding the juniors of another professional outfit, CD Nacional, to a 2-2 draw in the group stages.
Jersey – annual visitors to Madeira for age-group competitions – had claimed silverware twice before but not since the tournament they attend was revamped, elevated in status and switched to an under-15 affair.
‘If someone had asked me before the tournament what our target was, I would have said third or fourth,’ Renton admitted. ‘Since it’s gone up to an U15 competition the Madeirans take it a lot more seriously. When you’re there you realise how big it is, so to top a group with Nacional in, then get to the final and play Maritimo and win … it doesn’t get much better than that. These teams fly to mainland Portugal all the time to play the likes of Benfica, Porto and Sporting.
‘It’s one of the best things I’ve done, and I’ve done a lot. It’s such a great achievement for the boys and they deserved it. They’ve got the ability and the stuff that you can’t coach, and they showed it.’
Renton’s side topped Group B on goal difference with two wins and a draw, including a 4-0 win over CF Andorinha and an 8-0 thumping of CE O Liceu.
Jacob Clynes (two), Aiden Le Saint and Will Yates scored in the opener against Andorinha, and all three scored the same number of goals each against Liceu, alongside singles from Joseph Gardner, Paul Burton, Joey O’Toole and Stanley Dunne.
O’Toole and Liam Brennan found the net in their four-goal stalemate with Nacional, before Clynes, Ewan Brodie and a penalty from O’Toole steered the Caesareans to a 3-1 win over fellow finalists Maritimo, at the Estadio Madeira-Choupana in Funchal, after trailing 1-0.