Burton Albion weren’t the only Brewers side taking on Mersyside opposition on Tuesday as the under 17/16s took on Everton.Sam Rose’s men went down 3-1 to the Toffees but he says he is simply delighted with the opportunity.
“We were invited by Everton to play an under 17s and 16s fixture on Friday and we jumped at the chance, it isn’t every day that you get the opportunity to face a category one club, let alone someone like Everton who provided a really good challenge for the players.
“We got beaten 3-1, it was 3-0 at half time, I gave the boys the challenge of trying to improve in the second half which we did, which was pleasing.
“Credit to Everton, sometimes when you play bigger clubs they play younger players but they asked for an under 17s game and they put under 17s out, first year scholars and a couple of under 16 players, pretty much the same as we were ourselves, we also got the opportunity to play a couple of under 15s who have been doing really well so average we were probably younger.
“It isn’t about the result; it was a great opportunity to test ourselves against a big club who spend a lot of money on their development programme and in patches we matched Everton and caused them problems, which was encouraging.”
Rose also believes that the young Brewers will take a lot of positives from the game that will help with their development.
“It was disappointing in the first half with them scoring three goals and not managing to notch ourselves. The performance was probably different to what the score line suggest, which the boys should take confidence from.
“We played better in the second half, when we stepped it up, we were more aggressive, winning the ball higher up and playing some much better, higher tempo, football which is really important for them to be successful in the youth alliance and beyond.”
The under 18s side, which features a number of younger players, now go on to face Mansfield in the Youth Alliance Cup and Rose is looking forward to the game.
“It is something that we really look forward to as staff, it is important that the lads get wrapped up in the competition of it all because they are here to compete as sportsmen, hopefully going on to compete as professional footballers.
“We can learn from mistakes and take opportunities to develop, but it is a cup game and we want to try and win. Mansfield won the Youth Alliance last season and I think they are currently top after three games, they’ve had a change in style from playing direct to playing through the thirds so it will be a good challenge.”
Burton’s under 18s come into the game following a 2-2 draw against Notts County, having won their opening game 5-2 against Bradford City