Academy Manager Andy Jones has expressed his excitement for the new season. The Under 18’s face a tough campaign against some high-quality opponents next season, as Jones confirms it will be a ‘transitional’ period.
Town will be hoping for another strong performance in the FA Youth Cup this season and expect numerous U16’s to move into the U18’s.
“We are happy with the squad, we are happy with the players we’ve got and now it’s just about keeping them fit, keeping them sharp and keeping them hungry.
“it’s been no illusion that the Manager has given the opportunities to the lads and some of the lads from last year and I think it’s an inspiration going forward. But it’s going to be a really tough season for them this year and I definitely see it as a transitional season as well, so the boys have got a good opportunity to impress.”
It’s been a tough pre-season for the academy with a mixed bag of results. However, Jones hopes this will only help the squad further down the line.
“We’ve had a lot of challenging games. We’ve designed our pre-season this year to be difficult, we’ve played a lot of first teams with Newtown, Shawbury, we’ve got Rhyl, we’ve got Bristol Rovers at the weekend, we’ve got Hull next week, so some real difficult games.
“I know the lads have felt it at Wolves as well last week, but that’s what it’s about its about difficult games. The physical side of the game has become more prominent and with the league that we are in and the sort of style we come up against, that’s something we’re looking to be able to cope with.
“It’s gelling together well, we’re comfortable with the lads we’ve got in certain positions. We’re more than confident of some of our sixteen’s stepping through to fill the positions we need.
“You know we’re adopting a certain style of play which is forging straight through the academy, which has come into light I think over the last six months and generally, I think the lads have enjoyed the first three to four weeks they’ve been with us."