THE Burton Albion under 18s performance against Doncaster Rovers contained plenty of positives heading into next season.
The young Brewers were beaten 2-1 by Rovers, with under 16s player Jack Holmes scoring his first goal for the under 18s to halve the deficit late in second half.
Sam Rose, Professional Development Phase Lead Coach, praised the side despite the result, and believes that the quality shown by younger players is a good sign for next season.
“I thought that we started slowly but we grew into the game. Jack Livesey has made some important saves, as did the Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper at the other end. We were probably the better team in the second-half, but we are of course disappointed to lose a game, particularly when we could have defended better for both goals.
“We had a young team out today. Other than Jack, who is a young professional, we were all under 16s or first years. We brought lads off the bench and that made us younger still which was a positive given the second half performance.
“I think Doncaster showed that they were stronger and a little more game-savvy but it bodes well for next year, to have some young players that can perform at that level already.”
‘’It has been a positive day for the Academy. We are all delighted to see Joe Sbarra starting for the 1st Team this afternoon and for Reece Hutchinson to be involved in a 1st team match squad gives everyone a lift and shows what can be achieved by the players in the u18s and below.
Jack Holmes was pleased to score his first Youth Alliance goal and said the team, above all else, worked hard against Doncaster.
He said: “It was good to get a goal. We played well, everyone worked hard and our pressing was good. We played a lot better when we went into the high-press.”
Fellow under 16s player Ciaran Gilligan felt that the young Brewers were unfortunate not to take more from the game.
He said: “I thought that we were unlucky not to get more from the game, we had quite a few good chances, and if we were a bit more clinical then we could have got more.”