Eric Ramsay gives an update on all things Academy
Shrewsbury Town’s new Academy Manager admits that he is settling in well to his new role.
Eric Ramsay moved up from his Head of Coach Development role when Andy Jones left last month and has been busy with the season getting underway for Town’s youngsters.
“I’m really enjoying it”, said Ramsay.
“It is added responsibility on top of what I was doing before, but it’s not entirely different. I’m still on the pitch day to day and still have a really heavy involvement in the schoolboy programme in the evening.
“I suppose there’s some added operational and administrational bits to the role that I probably wouldn’t have been involved in, but overall I’m really enjoying it.
“I’ve got to say that AJ (Andy Jones) did a really good job and he’s a really big loss to the Academy. He’s left it in a really good place and he’s made it really easy for me to step into the role.
“We had a period of crossover where he was able to hand over some stuff, so for me that was really useful and a lot of credit has to go to him for what he did in the 18 months he was here.”
One of Ramsay’s roles is working with the Under-18s and he believes they have made a promising start to the campaign.
“It’s been a mixed bag,” admitted Eric.
“They started really well and there were some really strong performances, but didn’t necessarily get the results to go along with those performances. There are signs there that some of the players could really kick-on over the course of the season and as a team they could be pretty successful.
“They’ve dipped in the last couple of weeks and performance levels haven’t been as they were earlier in the season, which has been disappointing, but I think that’s always the case with youth team football.
“There are always peaks and troughs over the course of the season. You’ve got to manage that and the troughs give you a really good opportunity to identify things that need to be improved on and areas in which players need to develop.”
Eric is particularly excited by the Under-16 group, many of whom have already played for the Under-18s over the last 12 months.
“They’ve started really well in their own age group”, said Ramsay.
“They play in a competitive league this year, which is great for them and they’ve won both their matches in that so far, but as always our focus has been on some really strong individual performances.
“What’s been most pleasing over the course of pre-season is that the Under-18s and Under-16s have almost trained as one group and we can draw on the Under-16s and in some cases the Under-15s as well to play at youth team level.
“I think the real mark of someone who has the potential to potentially go on and be a professional is that at 15 and 16 they are able to play at Under-18s level comfortably and not just deal with it, but excel and I think we’ve got a couple in that Under-16s bracket that are able to do that.”