Following last weekend’s Futsal adventures, it was back to business as usual for The New Saints FC Academy, with multiple fixtures across the board, writes Jason Brindley.
On Saturday morning our Under-8s and Under-9s travelled to face AFC Telford at TCAT College, Telford. Both teams were extremely impressive and played great football at times. Our U-9s in particular have had an outstanding season, individually and collectively. They really understand the playing philosophy of our club in the way they move the ball around. Coaches Danny and Adam have done a great job with the players, they always play with smiles which is really important.
On Sunday our Foundation Phase age groups welcomed Bangor City to Park Hall Stadium for fixtures. Bangor start their Academy at a young age too so it was another chance for our Under-7s group to play. I’ve mentioned our 7s a few times in recent reports, they are turning into a great little team. We are really starting to see recent training topics come out on the field, showing their understanding of our football principles and at a young age that is great to see.
Our 8s to 10s were also in action against Bangor. The Citizens can offer a stern test with different age groups. There’s not quite the same rivalry as there is with the first teams but there’s always that little edge. We never really focus on the results, especially at this young age, but more importantly about the player development.
We want to make sure players are challenged; we want to push them and that can mean playing against older players at times. We have done this recently with Aden Jones, playing up for the U-10s, challenging him further. We also did it earlier this season with U-11 player Callum, actually playing 2 years up for our U-13s. Within the younger phase of our Academy it is more about the individual and ensuring they are challenged.
Our U-12/14/16s were back in FAW Academy Cup action.
Our U-12s travelled to Flint Town and came away with a point in an evenly-contested fixture.
Our U-14s faced Rhyl, playing on their first team pitch. Despite conceding an early goal the 14s came back and played very well to earn 3 points; they are on a great run and are in a fantastic position going into the final 4 fixtures.
Our U-16s travelled to Flint on the back of their triumph last week at Futsal, looking to build on that for the remainder of the season. They faced a stern test in Flint who were champions at U12 and U14, a strong group that have stayed together. Despite having the lion’s share of the ball the 16s struggled to break a resilient Flint side down and came away with a 2-1 defeat.
Finishing the weekend, our U-13s and U-15s faced Connah’s Quay Nomads. Thanks for the fixtures in two good competitive fixtures.
Next week we look forward to fixtures against English Premier League teams Stoke City and Liverpool as well as continuing our U-12/14/16 programme, as the race towards qualification to the finals heats up.
Find out more about TNS Academy by contacting Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org