After a summer that seems to have lasted forever, we are delighted to have officially returned to Academy training last week.
All age groups have returned to full-time training – three times a week – working towards our set curriculum that incorporates the TNS DNA.
It was great to see all the players back at Park Hall, enjoying themselves but also working hard.
Last week our U15 and U16s started their football-specific strength and conditioning programme at Active8, with everyone pushing themselves.
We have identified that this is one area that we want to focus on this season, working with specialist coaches at the club to get the most out of the players, but also to help educate them.
As the weekend approached, our games programme returned and everyone associated with the Academy was very busy, with lots of football on the agenda.
We were aiming to put into practice what we have been working on recently, linking sessions and topics into games.
Our U8s travelled to Vauxhall Motors to play in a four-team round robin. They are a really exciting group, they all have so much bravery on the ball when up against an opponent and so much energy too.
They really are a fantastic group of players. They did themselves proud this weekend with the round robin tournament, but also equally against Flint Town United at Park Hall Stadium on Sunday morning.
Our U9s travelled to play Flint away on Saturday. Our opponents always have good age groups in the Foundation Phase and this fixture was evenly-contested.
Our U13s were also on the road as they faced Team Elite from Manchester on Saturday morning, a side that has recently entered the JPL.
They are a good team, with very good coaches, and we look forward to facing them again this coming season. Our U13s also faced Flint Town away on Sunday, playing really well again.
With a lot of new players coming in pre-season they have come together really well and are now looking – and playing – like a very good team. It’s great to see.
Our U11s were at at Vauxhall Motors on Sunday morning. Despite containing a number of U10 players in the squad – who were brilliant – the game was very close against a strong Vauxhall side.
Our U15s also travelled to play Flint Town United as they continued their recent form with another strong performance. This particular group is a strong one, with a number of exciting and hard working players.
Finally, on Sunday morning, our U19s journeyed to the north Wales coast to take on Conwy. Their victory saw them pick up another 3 points to make it 2 from 2 in the WPL Development League. There is a designated website post on that game elsewhere on our site.
It was great to see our Academy players supporting our first team on Sunday afternoon, as they faced Livingston in the Irn-Bru Cup, eventually progressing via a penalty shoot-out.
Many thanks to Jason Brindley for compiling the report. For all things Academy related, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org