A member of Town’s U19 squad will be jetting off to Myanmar this week, representing his native Macau at U23 level in the AFC Thailand 2020 Qualifiers.
A modern-day full back who likes to get up and down the pitch, Nuno Pereira has been a mainstay in both Town U19s and Harrogate Railway’s first team this season and will now become the first player to represent his country while playing for Town.
As well as hoping for double success with Town and to avoid the drop with Railway, Nuno knows his side have to win all three upcoming qualifiers to be in with a chance of progressing to the competition finals.
The action begins on Friday 22nd
March with Macau coming up against a strong Japan side, before hosts Myanmar and East Timor complete the international triple header.
All matches will take place in the 32,000 seater Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon, with Pereira desperate to take all he can from the trip.
“It’s going to be massive to experience a high level, international level of football, I think I’ll learn a lot during the week.
The teams we are going to play against, like Japan, are full of quality, so it’s going to be a really good experience.”
The call came through Nuno’s Uncle, who lives in Macau, with two other English-based players, who the Town youngster has played with at U16 level, also making the trip across the world.
“It’ll be a great experience for him to be involved in, we’re really proud of him and hopefully he goes on to do really well.” Added Town U19 Manager Josh Falkingham.
“His attitude is second to none, he’s a great lad to work with, he listens and as a coach that’s all you want really.
“He takes things on board, takes that onto the pitch and performs week in week out.”
The call up comes as another step in the right direction for Town’s youth system, following on from numerous players training with and making appearances for the first team, as well as gaining prestigious scholarships oversees.
“It’s been really good to be involved with Town again this year, training has been intense and everything that we do we do for a purpose.” Said Pereira.
“Having Falks in charge is massive because as first team Captain he can then speak to the Manager and say who is playing well and who has been delivering in training.
“Training with the first team was a really good experience, adapting to different training sessions with different players has definitely helped my progression.
“I was always up against Joe Leesley, he was telling me what to do in my position like my body position and stuff like that which was good.”
With a potential league and cup double still on the cards this season, Falkingham is hoping to continue his trail of success.
“It’s still a work in progress and it always will be, but we’ve had some real positives this year in terms of getting lads in training with the first team.
“That’s my job and if I can get more young players breaking through it would be brilliant.
Keep an eye on Twitter @HarrogateTown and www.harrogatetownafc.com
for news on how Nuno gets on.