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U16s Win The League

22 November 2019


U16s Win The League

22 November 2019

Shrewsbury Town Academy's U16s have won the EFL Youth Development League North West.

The league is made up of Town, Walsall, Preston North End, Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale, Rochdale, Fleetwood and Blackpool.

Over the season Town's youngster have been in good performances but also pick up the points that saw them win the league with two games remaining.

It's a great achievement for the U16s who saw the existing group strengthened over the summer, and that work looks to have paid off.

Academy Manager David Longwell is pleased for the lads and for all the staff who have helped to push them on.

"It's really good news and a big achievement for our club to do that", said David.

"There are nine teams in that league, and from where we are now from where we were in the summer we have worked really, really hard.

"The work of the recruitment team and the coaching staff is really positive for the club.

"We are delighted that they managed to do it, but even more delighted they managed to do it with two games in hand."

The league put the U16s up against some good, well-established opposition and they were up to the task. It now sees them take on Doncaster Rovers for a place in the final.

"When we came in last year we were a little light in numbers at that age group so Gary Wadden, who is our Head of Recruitment, worked really hard and we signed eight or nine players", said David.

"There was a reasonable base of a team there, but the additions helped that group and helped to strengthen it.

"Alex Ramsay, who is our Lead Phase Coach, along with Sean McAllister, have done a really good job or developing the players, and also getting performances and results.

"When you are playing against some really established clubs in there, the fact we worked hard to recruit it is a real credit to the group of players.

"Their work and endeavour has been excellent, their attitude in training is excellent, and this is a little reward for all that hard work

"There are four separate leagues and what this means is that we now go into a semi-final against Doncaster Rovers on the 24th of November and the winner of that goes into the final."

A strong U16s side is good news for the Academy who will be looking for a number to make the progressing through to the U18s side.

"We've moved a few kids up recently to play in the U18s game, I think there are three or four, and they have done really well", said David.

"It shows you that some of them are capable of progressing up to the next level, and we want to continue to do that.

"We want to push the U18s up, we want to push the U16s up, and if they are doing well at that level, we have to go challenge them again.

"We have had some of them in training recently with the U18s, and we want to take them out of their comfort zone and challenge them and try to get them closer to where we want to get them longterm, the first team."

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