Sorry for the delay in posting my latest blog, it’s been a hectic few weeks with us doing well in the Youth Cup alongside balancing our Academy fixtures, training and educational commitments.
If I can I’ll resume my blog by talking about our fixture at Manchester United a week ago last Saturday which for most of us is a game that we really look forward to. United have an excellent reputation at Academy level and some really good players but there are other things going on that make it a great place to play.
The pitches at Carrington are absolutely amazing and the games tend to be filmed and shown on MUTV so I could if I wanted pay a small subscription and watch myself play on Sky – not that I’m going to mind – but things like this add to the buzz around this fixture.
With Man United’s first team not playing last Saturday, I was not surprised to see a few of their players knocking around the training ground and as we started the game I noticed that our game had attracted the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson who was stood on the touchline watching his players.
I know their lads will really appreciate that because speaking from experience when our Gaffer is on premises it is a real boost for all the lads who in turn are eager to do well in front of him and show him what they are made of.
The game itself ended 1-1 but I felt that we could have come away with all three points on another day. Don’t get me wrong they played some good stuff at times and created some chances via Pogba, King and Ajose but we also had a lot of the play and wasted some good opportunities of our own.
They were technically very good but we put them under pressure all over the field which stopped them from playing in the main. It was a great game and we all enjoyed it although we were disappointed to just get a draw.
On Monday we were in for a recovery session in the gym and we played a squad game with the U16’s getting involved. It gave us a chance to get a glimpse of next season’s first years and it looks like the Club have recruited well because they all looked sharp and good on the ball.
Later in the week we had some VIP visitors to the Academy in the form of Sir Trevor Brooking and some other FA dignitaries so training was extremely intense with everyone keen to impress. We did a lot of possession which cannot be understated in terms of its importance to us as we develop as players.
The better you take care of the ball the better your team is and the less chance you have of losing quite obviously because when you are in possession you are the team in the ascendency! This game then evolved in to only allowing us to play forward which is natural progression to encourage forward thinking play as opposed to keeping the ball for the sake of it!
We did a little bit of shape work on the Friday with a fixture against Crewe Alexandra approaching and integrated some of our U16’s in to this line up to compensate for injuries to our normal first choice players. Needless to say a trip to Crewe is not where you want to be going when you haven’t got your first choice eleven and I’ll fill you in next time about how that game panned out as most of you will I’m sure have seen the result!