BURTON Albion Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Sam Rose was eager to praise the Young Brewers’ positive attitude following their recent 3-3 draw with Harrogate Town.
Albion rounded off the calendar year on Saturday by collecting a valuable point in North Yorkshire, with goals scored by Callum Niven, Jakub Niemczyk and Tristan Bennett.
Reflecting on an eventful encounter, Rose said: “It was a tough game. We had a younger team than usual and a couple of the under-16s played the full 90 minutes. We weren’t entirely sure how that would play out for us, but the players that came in did really well.
“I thought the attitude of the players was absolutely superb because it was a long trip and I think it’s fair to say that the conditions weren’t great. It was also a difficult pitch and Harrogate aren’t a bad side.
“They’ve not won as many games as they would’ve liked to but they’re a very capable team going forward and created plenty of opportunities to score. We tackled, worked hard, and played some really good football at times.
“We could’ve lost the game quite easily on another day, so to come away with a point was important. Winning it would’ve obviously been the preferred outcome, but we can’t have too many complaints given the conditions.”
Across the season so far, a number of players from the Brewers’ under-16s squad have been given the chance to play in the EFL Youth Alliance League, and Rose continues to be encouraged by their performances.
He stated: “There’s a lot of talent emerging from our under-16s group, so when opportunities come about, we’re more than happy to allow them to step up and play.
“It’s about development at the end of the day, so if there are boys who go out on loan, there are injuries or we simply feel like we need to change the team then we’ll gladly welcome different players into the group.
“It means that we get to see more of them and learn more about them which is definitely a positive, and I think most of the lads relish the opportunity. Overall, they’ve really impressed me and the other coaches.”
Burton’s Academy players will now have a two-week Christmas break from in-house training as well as any matches, before returning in early January to resume the season.
“I think the lads more than deserve some downtime and I think it’s important that they have some time away from the club in order to decompress,” Rose added.
“Their load across the season is fairly heavy so we try to maximise any opportunity to give them some downtime.
“At some point in the New Year we’ll be playing in the quarter-finals of the Youth Alliance Cup, which is definitely something to look forward to, and we’ll be looking to get a strong team out for that.
“We’ve asked them to try and stay fit over Christmas so that we aren’t having to play catch up in January, so hopefully they can attack the next few games.”