Head of coaching happy with friendly winIan Dawes saw positive signs from Shrewsbury Town’s Youth Team on Saturday as they beat The New Saints 2-1 in a friendly.
First-half goals from Ethan Jones and Kaiman Anderson were enough to give the young Shrews victory at Lilleshall National Sports Centre despite Greg Evans pulling one back for TNS late on.
And Ian, who only started his role as head of youth coaching in late June, feels Town’s youngsters are already beginning to take to his coaching methods.
“It was a good little run out for the boys being the first game of pre-season,” said Ian.
“There were a lot of positives in the game and a lot of signs that they are starting to come to terms with how we need to play.
“I wasn’t expecting a perfect performance but I wanted to see little flashes of positive things, and I saw that.
“They will be a little rusty getting back into the game organisation side of things but it was a good exercise.
“They’ve got to try and pick up our concepts as soon as possible and try and learn how we’re going to play for the forthcoming season.”
Ian opted to start with a side full of scholars for the first hour of the match before bringing on many players from the Under-16s side.
It was a decision rewarded with two first-half goals from Jones and Anderson.
Ian said: “We had all our scholars playing in the first half because we wanted them to play most of the game with it being their first back.
“I thought TNS were the better team for the first ten minutes but after that we got a foothold on the game and controlled it a little more.
“This exercise was about us getting used to how we need to play for the forthcoming season.”
The youth team’s next pre-season friendly has been arranged for Thursday 17 July against Liverpool’s under-18s at the Reds’ Academy (12pm kick-off).
Ian has worked in various roles within the Liverpool Academy in the past and is fully aware of the challenge Town face when they make the trip to Merseyside.
“It’s going to be a different type of game on Thursday, obviously Liverpool are a very talented team, but it’s going to be good for our boys to get experience of playing at that level,” he said.