Mark Allen: Portugal training camp debrief
- Thu 02 Aug 2012, 11:26AM
- Posted by Mark Booth
In the fourth week of Mark Allen's blog, City's Head of Academy speaks to us after the under-18's Portuguese training camp.
Especially in the case of the younger players, we’re looking to see how they cope with a full-time training schedule and being away from home – these trips can tell us a lot about a player’s mind frame and temperament.
We had a lot of under-16 players joining us on the trip and it’s been a valuable experience for the staff to see these youngsters up close and to find out a little bit more about them as they enter the year where scholarships are up for grabs.
It was also a great opportunity to take a look at one or two trialists just to see if they have what it takes to make it at Manchester City.
Obviously, it was disappointing to lose to Sporting in the final match of the tour, but I’d like to think that we’ll take a lot more from the game than they will.
It was disappointing that the team they fielded was one, two, or maybe even three years older than the team we put out but that will have been a great experience for our boys and they stood up to the physical test and they did remarkably well against a much older and physically stronger team.
We have a philosophy, a game plan that we believe is the right way to play and what was so pleasing in that Sporting match was that our team continued to play out from the back and stuck to our ethos irrespective of the conditions and scoreline. It may not have got its reward on the day but our hope is that it will in the years to come.
The team have a tough draw in Oberndorf for the International u-19 tournament, facing Chivas Guadalajara, Freiburg, Wolfsburg and the Congolese national team but it’s another fantastic opportunity for us to see how this young squad deal with tournament football against teams from wildly different footballing cultures.
A few of the older heads will return to the fold after their EDS exertions, including Greg Leigh, Louis Hutton and George Glendon, so that little bit of experience is sure to rub off on the younger lads, including the likes of young Tom Holland who retains his place in the squad.
We visited Germany last year for the competition, so we know that it’s a fantastic tournament to play in and it also gives us a great bit of foresight when it comes to the EDS as the season just around the corner.