It was a really positive weekend for The New Saints FC Academy, with all out age groups in action, writes Jason Brindley.
On Saturday, our Foundation phase kicked off this weekend’s action, with all five age groups facing Llandudno at The Venue.
First up were our U7s and U8s. We have started adding more fixtures to our U7s programme to start preparing for next season when that will be a weekly addition to their current programme.
I’ve mentioned it in the past, that while training is great and massively important at this age, all they want to do is play games. The first thing they ask when they arrive for training is ‘are we having a game tonight.’
They were excellent too. Both teams played with real innocence and joy. I love watching their celebrations when they score goals. It puts a smile on your face.
Our U9s-11s also played Llandudno in really good competitive games. Llandudno always have good groups in their youngest phase. Technically they are very good, which means they are doing something right with their programme, which is good to see. It will only improve players and football domestically.
On Saturday evening, our U13s welcomed Brookhouse College to Park Hall Stadium. We have played Brookhouse with various age groups this season. Brookhouse are an International college, based in Leicestershire. They always have excellent players and teams, and this one was no different.
The game got off to a great start, with both teams playing quick, slick attacking football. It was a game played at a really high intensity. One as a coach, you could just sit back and enjoy watching. Obviously you’re still making notes sand feeding back observations/direction, but it was a real game of quality.
We thank Brookhouse as always for travelling over and look forward to playing them in the future.
Our U15s welcomed Wrexham Schoolboys for a late Saturday evening KO.
Wrexham schools contain some excellent players, some who play at CAT1 English Academies, so we knew the challenge we would have to face.
It was an excellent game, with our players taking on info really well and setting up to deny spaces to the opposition with a strategy on possession regain.
It was a really good contest and we thank Wrexham for travelling over so late on a Saturday evening.
Sunday morning saw our U12s/14s/16s compete in the FAW Academy Cup Super6 programme.
First up our U12s and U16s travelled to local side Cefn Druids. Druids continue to improve across the board, and I feel the investment of the UEFA grant is definitely benefiting teams, with all clubs now having a Head of Coaching on a full-time basis. This can only be a good thing for football across Wales.
Our U12s and U16s continued recent form with two excellent performances. We thank Druids for hosting us and wish them the best for the remainder of their programme.
Our U14s hosted Newtown. Newtown have a couple of excellent players so we knew the challenge on hand for our players.
I thought we produced some good moments and played some good football. The weather did spoil the second-half to an extent, with the rain really coming down.
Despite that, both teams played good football throughout. We thank Newtown for traveling over.
To finish a busy weekend, our U15s hosted Caernarfon Town, in another late evening KO. The 15s showed the effect of Saturday’s tough game and were leggy at times in this one.
Nevertheless, it was an excellent encounter and good to see Haydn and his team, who were very good.
As we conclude, it’s been yet another very good weekend for our Academy, with loads of football being played. It’s good to see the days starting to last longer and the sun shining at times.
We look forward to another busy week ahead that includes games against West Brom, Burnley, Allerton, Prestatyn, Caernarfon, Connah’s Quay Nomads, Cefn Druids and Flint Town United.