Mark Allen: The wait is nearly over
- 14 August 2012 11:20
- Posted by Mark Booth
In the fifth week of Mark Allen's blog, City's Head of Academy speaks to us just a few short days before the season gets under way.
It was a really good performance from the under-18s in the match away at Rhyl on Wednesday. Playing against a men’s side in front of 1,700 people was a good experience for them and I was really pleased with how they managed that environment to win the game 2-0.
Since my last post, we also competed at the Oberndorf u19 Turnier in Germany where we were just a goal away from qualifying for the final but it was still a fantastic experience for the players to again play against older players.
We’re looking for many things from these pre-season tournaments, with results being just one element along with fitness, integrating players into our system and seeing how they stand up to being taken away from home for a long period of time.
I think the appointment of Atillio Lombardo as EDS manager can only help to tighten ties between the Academy, the EDS and the first-team. Obviously, his relationship with Roberto Mancini will be a factor, but so too will be the u18s and EDS regularly training at Carrington from first-year scholars up.
This means that players will have the opportunity to play in front of Roberto which gives the players an incentive to train hard and the manager can conveniently find out first-hand what kind of form the Academy boys are in.
We’ve worked very closely over the summer, having regular dialogues with Atillio and Technical Co-ordinator Christian Lattanzio to ensure that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet the mechanisms are in place for a successful season at u21 and u18 levels.
It’s been wonderful to read so many positive things written about the Academy since we were granted Category 1 status by the Premier League.
It’s been such a great team effort by everyone here and it’s great that everyone’s finding out about some of the hard work that all the team have put in.
As part of those EPPP plans, we’ll now be in the new FA Premier Academy League, kicking off against Chelsea on Saturday. One of the best elements of this new league is that there is a minimum quota of games that have to be played at the team’s first-team stadium.
I think this is a wonderful idea, as it gives the players not only a great experience but prepares them for life as a professional so that if the team comes and they’re summoned for first-team duty, they’re no way near as intimidated with the prospect in front of them.
Most of the under-18s home games will be played at Platt Lane on Saturday mornings at 11:00. I'd just like to take this opportunity to invite you all to come along and lend your support in the season ahead.
See you there!