It was a positive week for The New Saints FC Academy, writes Jason Brindley.
On Friday evening, our under 9s travelled to Finch Farm to face Everton.
We have travelled there on numerous occasions, with different groups over the past few weeks. It was another superb experience for our Young Saints who relished the opportunity.
Our 9s are an exciting group, full of energy. A number of the boys have been with us since U7, so they are already fully ingrained with our playing philosophy and club identity. The new players have also bought into this philosophy and they are a great group.
They played some really good football and we are very proud of the boys. Thanks again to Everton for hosting and we look forward to our next encounter.
On Saturday morning, we hosted Aston under 8s and Rhyl under 10s and 11s.
Our under 8s contained a number of under 7s for the game, who didn’t look out of place. I constantly talk about challenging the players as individuals, and giving players opportunities. We want to expose players to different challenges and obstacles to assist their learning. Aston have a very good team and we thank them for travelling.
Our U10s and U11s welcomed Rhyl. Despite only playing them a few weeks ago, we look to play as many fixtures as possible over the course of our season. There’s no better teacher than the game itself, and to put into practice learning outcomes from the week past. Again we thank Rhyl for travelling.
Our U16s faced Chorley at Park all Stadium. Our 16s faced them last season when they competed in the Junior Premier League. Chorley have improved over the past 12 months, and proved good opposition for our eldest academy age group. It was a good game with both teams playing good football. We thank them for travelling.
On Sunday morning our U9/U10/U11s welcomed Chester for Foundation phase small-sided game. All games were very close, with some excellent football being played by all teams. Chester always have good age groups within their youth development programme. They have a good catchment area and always prove good opposition. Sunday was no different, with our U13s and U15s also in action against them.
We thank them for travelling and look forward to facing them again in the future.
Our U12s and U14s were also in action and both put in good performances.
To conclude Sunday, I was delighted with observing/assisting/leading age groups and the quality on hand. To see players from 8 to 18 play the TNS way, to believe in what we are doing, is something special. Credit goes to the coaches for buying into it and educating their players. I feel proud of what we are doing at our football club and the level of player we are now producing. Players are getting noticed, as we had scouts from Manchester United and Stoke at The Venue over the weekend. It was a great opportunity for our players to showcase their talent.
Next week we look forward to fixtures against Leicester, Bangor, Llandudno and Caernarfon.