EARLIER this month, the Burton Albion under 18s got the opportunity to test themselves against different opposition, facing Norwich City and West Ham in friendlies away from home.
Matches were arranged with the Canaries and the Hammers which provided the under 18s with the challenge of travelling and playing two games in the space of five days, something that they would have to adapt to as part of an EFL match schedule.
Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Sam Rose believes that games such as these are important to keep the Young Brewers playing while they are not in league action, whilst also helping them to develop resilience against strong Academy teams.
He said: “We had a break in the fixture list, and it is our responsibility to make sure we have as much football to play as possible.
“It was a good opportunity for us to test the lads in those environments. Clubs of Norwich’s and West Ham’s stature have quality right the way through their youth systems and these games provide a different challenge to our normal games programme.
“We did well. We spent a lot of time on the bus and it was important that the boys prepared right for the games and still performed. We can be relatively happy with how we did in both games and it was good to see how we handled those enviroments.”
Rose also says that building relationships with other clubs is important for the Academy.
He said: “It’s good that clubs like West Ham and Norwich are happy to have us, look after us and put a game on. It is just about when you get a break from league games, we try to fill it with diverse fixtures that will test the group.”