BURTON Albion Head of Academy Coaching Keith Gilroy was very pleased with the Young Brewers’ overall performance on Saturday as they beat Doncaster Rovers under-18s 5-1 in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
The club’s Professional Development Phase side were comfortable winners in South Yorkshire thanks to a treble from Callum Niven as well as additional goals from Ben Radcliffe and Jakub Niemczyk.
Gilroy was particularly impressed with the result as it means that Albion have collected victories from each of their last three matches.
He said: “The group look confident at the minute after our two wins before today and it was important to keep that momentum going ahead of next week’s FA Youth Cup game (against Sheffield Wednesday at the Pirelli Stadium).
“We were aggressive all over the pitch from minute one and all of the lads were in it together collectively which at times can be missing from young teams. To see such a strong team performance was really pleasing for us as coaches.
“At times we were trying to go through the middle of Doncaster which meant we were losing the ball a fair bit, but when we had a bit of composure on the ball in the defensive third we got down the sides a lot more.
“I thought our front three caused their defensive three numerous problems and that was probably where the game was won and lost.”
While the Young Brewers were excellent in attack to secure their victory, they also produced an impressive defensive display, with goalkeeper Jake Laban keeping out two first-half penalties.
“He [Jake] was brilliant,” Gilroy said. “You come into a fixture like this with a game plan but the weather conditions were poor so it was important that we didn’t take many risks in the opening stages, and he made good decisions to enable us to do that.
“The penalty saves were obviously key in the game. I’m not sure either of the penalties should have been given, with the second one looking particularly harsh, but fair play to Jake because he got down really well for both of them.”
Burton will take on Sheffield Wednesday this Friday in the FA Youth Cup, and Gilroy believes that the Young Brewers are desperate to give another positive account of themselves in that match.
He stated: “The Youth Cup is a huge competition for the young lads. For any Academy player on a scholarship, the Youth Cup is what it’s all about, and I know the boys are excited to play in front of the fans at the Pirelli.
“So motivation shouldn’t be an issue going into the game, but I think confidence is key, and they should be in a good mood now after winning so convincingly today. Hopefully we’re able to produce another good performance and a result to go with it.”