The trip offered the club’s youngsters the opportunity to undergo intense training sessions at the top-class facilities of Brown’s Sports and Leisure Club near Vilamoura while also allowing them to gain some valuable game time against foreign opposition.
After beating Portuguese side Portimonense SC 3-1 in the semi-final, the young Tigers lifted the trophy with a penalty shoot-out victory over Nathaniels Boys who travelled from Nigeria.
It was a second successive win in the tournament for Russell’s side, who beat Celtic in the final 12 months ago in the first-ever Browns LdV Tournament, and the club’s Academy Manager was delighted with the application shown by his players during their time in the Mediterranean.
“The boys applied themselves really well throughout the trip – both in the games and during the training sessions,” he said.
“We went to the tournament as defending champions having beaten Celtic in the final in the summer of 2012 but the two games we had over there this year were much tougher tests. It was a good challenge and one which the players rose to.
“It’s fair to say to say we rode our luck a little in the final but we showed the character that was needed to come through and win on penalties.
“It was great to win the tournament for a second successive year and I’m sure the experience will have only been beneficial for the lads.
“The main emphasis of the trip was to help the lads in their preparation for the 2013/14 Youth Alliance League campaign.
"It was a really beneficial week for us because it provided a rare opportunity for us all to be together 24 hours a day.
“It was also good to see the boys in a different environment, especially the new faces and the ones that have just moved up to this group.”
Russell’s young charges continue their preparations for the forthcoming campaign with a friendly match against Sheffield United this afternoon before further fixtures against Boston United and Leeds United prior to the start of the new season.
“We’re trying to give them a little bit more game time this year in addition to the usual pre-season training routine,” added Russell.
“The lads have been in since the beginning of July, so it’s all about getting them right, ready and prepared for the season ahead.
“Everything we’ve done so far has been aimed at getting everyone in the camp ready for the opening game of the season against York City – that’s the most important thing.”