City u18s v Chelsea match preview
- Fri 17 Aug 2012, 11:38AM
- Posted by Mark Booth
That first half of the season kicks off on Saturday morning when City under-18s take on Chelsea at the London's club's Cobham base.
It's tipped to be a meeting two of the main contenders to qualify from Group 3 to the Elite Group Stage after Christmas and City under-18s Manager Adam Sadler knows his young side will have to be at their very best to get something from the match.
"We know we're in for a really tough game against Chelsea on Saturday as they have a very good academy which has enjoyed continuity for a long period of time."
“I've no doubt that as a team they will be strong and well organised but these are the bigger challenges that we must meet to improve our players."
The new league structure put in place as part of the Premier League’s Elite Players Performance Plan (EPPP) is in its first season and will guarantee a minimum of 26 league games for the under-18s in the coming season –a change that their manager welcomes.
"My view is that something needed to be done to move youth football in this country onto the next level and I think this new structure can achieve that,” believes Sadler.
"What was a great idea 15 years ago did need freshening up and it's great that the Premier League have identified that and given us the opportunity to travel away to London and play one of the City first team's main rivals."
Sadler revealed that he will be selecting an XI from a young group of players, including a number of under-16s, as well as slightly more experienced players, such as Devante Cole and George Swan.
"This pre-season period has been as good as I've ever been involved with - we've travelled to Portugal for the training camp and had an excellent experience at the tournament in Germany so there have been lots of opportunities to give all of this young squad some game time," said Sadler.
Part of the Academy philosophy put in place by Academy Head Mark Allen is professional development, not just in terms of the playing squad, but the staff too.
It’s an ethos that the under-18s boss has benefitted from.
“I’ve just returned from an International coach’s course which is organised by the Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and it was an excellent experience and a chance to find out about the Dutch mentality for developing young football players,” he said.
Most, if not all of City under-18’s home matches will be played at Platt Lane on Saturday mornings at 11am, so if you want to see these talented youngsters in action on a regular basis, they would really appreciate your support.