Boy Blues do Hughes proud
- 11 July 2009 21:00
- Posted byPeter Ferguson
Mark Hughes turned to City's Academy graduates for the opening pre-season match in Germany and his ambitious Boy Blues rose to the occasion as they held 1860 Munich to a deserved 1-1 draw.
Valeri Bojinov, looking leaner and meaner after his troubles last season, came up with City's equaliser on the hour after Stuart Taylor had been beaten on his debut by a brilliant free kick from Alexander Ludwig.
But it was the young men nurtured in Jim Cassell's famed school of science at Platt Lane who repeatedly took the eye and gave the German second division outfit a hard time in tonight's friendly at Rottach-Ergen.
The Blues will not play at a more picturesque ground this or any other season, surrounded by forested mountains in the heart of Bavaria. Only Julie Andrews and the Von Trapps were missing, but Hughes' kids were on song.
Seven of the starting line-up were Academy-bred, with a youthful back four of Kieran Trippier, Clayton McDonald, Ben Mee and Ryan McGovern looking good enough to force their way into many a senior side as a unit.
Trippier's understanding down the right flank with Vlad Weiss, already handed his Premier League debut by City boss Hughes, was one of the highlights of a team performance that carried so much promise for the future.
The introduction of Donal McDermott, Javan Vidal and Paul Marshall after the break only served to lower the average age, and Sholeum Logan later replaced Mee after the intelligent defender was hurt in a clash of heads.
Pablo Zabaleta was the able older hand in midfield while Bulgaria pair Boji and Martin Petrov, who performed World Cup duties during the summer, nevertheless worked hard to keep the German defence on their toes.
Munich, who had the smattering of City fans in nostalgic mood by fielding a player called Rosler, took the lead with a 39th-minute free kick after the lively Pappas went down under a challenge from Zabaleta.
But Bojinov made sure City did not have to start their campaign with an undeserved defeat by showing a true striker's knack by turning and firing beyond the Munich keeper after receiving a fine pass from Weiss.
City's starting line-up: Taylor; Trippier, McDonald, Mee, McGovern; Weiss, Zabaleta, Clayton, Petrov; Ireland; Bojinov.