PAOK U19 revamped
In PAOK Academy, consistency equals constantly adjusting to new circumstances. The kids grow up and, every season, there is much at stake. At the same time, it’s tough to realize that the bubbly youngsters grow into men –but that’s life. Every beginning however includes renewed enthusiasm and dreams. It’s the case of brand new U19 team that PAOK are building now.
The reigning Greek champions of Super League U19 are preparing for 2019-20. Pablo García, Mirosław Sznaucner and their assistants have already bid farewell to the old guard of a perfectly fruitful and successful three-year cycle and, faithful to PAOK Academy’s philosophy, they are now ready to train the next generation and prep them to join the senior football side.
Most guys of this talented crop have already landed at their next destination. Konstantinos Balogiannis, Lefteris Lyratzis, Apostolos Diamantis and Marios Tsaousis have been shipped on loan to Volos NFC, while Alexandros Gargalatzidis has joined Xanthi FC, also on loan. Giorgos Tzovaras was transferred to ŠK Slovan Bratislava, while Antonis Gaitanidis, Giannis Michailidis and Theocharis Tsiggaras were promoted to PAOK’s senior side and are currently in the Netherlands for preseason training.
The new U19 side of PAOK will have a lower age average. Only three players born in 2000 are eligible to feature in the Super League U19. Those born in 2001 are obviously in the squad, joined by boys born in 2002 (most of them already internationals for Greece U17s) and a few of 2003.
The new team is getting “built” at Volakas, Drama, where they will remain until 28 July, always under the command of Pablo García. The Uruguayan coach has been working for PAOK Youth and Development Sections since 2015 and has three league titles to show for (two with the U19s and one with the U17s, in 2015-16).