With the first team travelling to Barnton on Saturday, we’re going to take a look at our youth teams who both feature at home this Sunday. Our U21s will be facing Oldham Athletic Development Centre U21s at Wright Robinson College and our U18s will be facing AFC Liverpool’s U18s, also at Wright Robinson College. We’ll be speaking to Chris Seaton, the manager of our U21s and Dave McMahon from the U18s to get their thoughts on the season so far and what lies ahead for the boys.
U21s – Chris Seaton
The U21s have had a perfect start to the league campaign winning all three of your games up to now. On Sunday your boys beat Glossop NE U21s 6-1, were you expecting a result like that?
CS: We played Glossop in pre-season and won 2-1, so I was fairly confident we could get a result. We went 1-0 up after about five minutes but took our foot off the gas and were a little disjointed, so we tweaked the way we were playing and we didn’t look back.
With such a strong start to the season it must have been a big effort from every single player, but is there anybody in particular that’s stood out to you with their performances?
CS: All the lads have been quality from day one of pre-season. Matt Garbett has been on fire in front of goal scoring 6 goals in the first 3 games to add to the 7 he scored in pre-season. Skipper Connor Hughes has led by example in midfield but the two new boys, defender Luke Roscoe and wide player Leyton White have been the two stand out players with their consistent displays.
On Sunday you face Oldham Athletic Development Centre U21s at Wright Robinson College, what sort of game are you expecting and do you think the boys have what it takes to carry on this perfect start to the campaign?
CS: Oldham are an unknown entity. They applied late to the league, so we don’t know much about them. It’s a football cliche but we are taking each game, game by game. The lads were really high after the Glossop result and we had to bring them down to earth as we are only three games in and it’s a long season. Our aim is to get promoted as we believe we have a squad good enough to compete in the Premier Division.
U18s – Dave McMahon
Your U18s side got their first win of the league campaign last week against Wythenshawe Amateurs after a narrow defeat against Bootle in your first game of the season. How do you assess the start your boys have had?
DM: With a decent but tough preseason, we had a defeat in our first game but if we are honest it was a game that was that we should have won. Things happened in the game that were out of our control and the lad’s heads went which cost us the game.
Our game against Wythenshawe Amateurs was a good game for us. We started off slow and the boys were struggling with the 4-3-3 formation, so we changed it to 4-1-2-1-2 which suited our boys and we never looked back. We also strengthened the team with two new signings.
Has there been a particular player or players that have stood out to you over these two games?
DM: There are four players that stood out for me in our two games. Left-back Jed Gatenby has had a quality start to our season. Central midfielder/centre-back Tom McDonald is strong and quick and reads the game very well. Midfielder Mike Maguire’s work rate in midfield is unbelievable and he’s starting to get goals as well. Finally, we have our main striker Mason Hurst. He’s strong, quick and a real handful for any defence with three goals in our opening two games.
The U18s will face AFC Liverpool at Wright Robinson College on Sunday, a team that have played one game in the league which resulted in a 6-1 win. Do you think this is a game your boys should be winning or at this point in the season are you more interested in the performance levels?
DM: I expect AFC Liverpool to be a quality team, but if I’m honest I think our team should be winning and are capable of winning every game. I have quality running right through my squad and truly believe we will win.