PAOK’s dominance in youth leagues rewarded on international stage
PAOK’s youth academy is becoming one of the best in Greece, with the club’s under 19s, 17s, and 15s teams all sitting on top of their respective leagues. The development of these players in PAOK’s youth setup has resulted in 24 PAOK players called up to represent three Greek youth national teams (U15, U17, U19).
The Greek U19s have a total of eight players that have been called up from PAOK’s youth setup. These players were called up for the two friendly games in Cyprus in preparation for the Elite qualifying round of the EURO 2019 Championships. The PAOK call ups include Apostolos Diamantis, Giannis Michailidis, Lefteris Lyratzis, Marios Tsaousis, Theocharis Tsiggaras, Alexandros Gargalatzidis, Antonis Gaitanidis, and Georgios Doumtsis.
Cyprus defeated Greece 2:0 in the first friedly before the two teams drew 1:1 in the second match. The Greeks will face England, Czech Republic, and Denmark in the Elite qualifying round, which kicks off on Wednesday, as they look to secure a ticket to the U19 European Championship Finals which will be held in Armenia from the 14-27 of July.
Greece’s under 17s will begin their European Championship qualifiers from the 25-31st of March, where they will face Spain, Ukraine, and Kosovo in the second stage of qualifying. A total of nine of PAOK youth players from the under 17s team were called up to the squad to represent their country including Konstantinos Balomenos, Panagiotis Panagiotou, Aventis Aventisian, Dimitris Tsopouroglou, Vasilios Grosdis, Thomas Karaberis, Christos Tzolis, Vasilios Kortezian, and 15-year old young gun Ioannis Konstantelias.
Another seven PAOK players have been called up to the under 15s national team including Dimitris Monastirlis, Nikolaos Botis, Georgios Koutsias, Eleftherios Tasiouras, Zisis Tsikos, Isidoros Koutsidis, and Fabian Tsela.