Steyning under-18s to embark on club’s first international

Steyning under-18s will play on Gibraltar's iconic pitch under the Rock
Steyning under-18s will play on Gibraltar's iconic pitch under the Rock

Steyning Town will be the ultimate minnows next year when they embark on their first-ever international friendly.

The club’s under-18 team have secured a prestigious match against Gibraltar under-17s in the national stadium in April.

Steyning Town under-18s

Steyning Town under-18s

The young international team, who are more than used to being the minnows themselves, will for once be red-hot favourites at their iconic Victoria Stadium home ground under the Gibraltar Rock.

A lot of hard work from three of Town’s under-18 coaching staff; Daniel Fuller-Smith, Jaime Banasco-Zaragoza and Luke Banasco-Zaragoza has seen the unusual pairing come to fruition for the rural Sussex side.

Town will be partaking in a four-day tour of Malaga and the match against the Gibraltar national team will form the centre-piece of the trip.

The Gibraltar FA will host Steyning for the whole day and take them on a tour of the famous Gibraltar Rock, as well as pre and post-match hospitality.

Gibraltar interim international manager David Wilson, club captain and a number of other players will also be attending and meeting the team.

Eighteen Town players will make the trip to Malaga to compete in two friendlies with the squad selected from their 40 player youth development programme.

Club chairman Richard Woodbridge said: “I, like everybody at the club, am thrilled and excited the Steyning Town Football Club under-18s will be given the opportunity to play the Gibraltar under-17 national side.

“It will be a huge challenge for the lads, but one I know they will rise to. To play in such a prestigious fixture in the national stadium will create memories and experiences they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

“We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in getting this fixture arranged, and we look forward to plenty of representatives from the club coming out to support the match and sample the hospitality that Gibraltar has to offer.

“Steyning Town has a proud history and has had some great days over the years, and this is sure to be up there with the best of them.”

Assistant manager Jaime Banasco-Zaragoza added: “We would place on record our sincere gratitude to Gibraltar Football Association for their superb support in our organisation of our tour.

“The game is a historic game for our club, and one that has sent positive vibes throughout the whole club. To be able to play an international team, in their national stadium will be an unforgettable experience and we can only thank Gibraltar FA for the opportunity.”