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ACADEMY REACTION: DAVE FREEMAN REACTS TO DONCASTER LOSS

19 March 2024

Club News

ACADEMY REACTION: DAVE FREEMAN REACTS TO DONCASTER LOSS

19 March 2024

BURTON Albion’s PDP Lead Coach Dave Freeman believes his side needed to show more urgency in their 3-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers.

The first two goals came from Will Green before Kenneth Marigbe finished the scoring to earn his side the three points.

Freeman shared his thoughts on the Young Brewers performance, he said: “It was a tough result, we’ve changed the team a little bit, we’ve got some of our scholars out on loan which is really important, but t’s given an opportunity for a couple of our under 16’s to start.

"I thought we started the game okay, there was not a whole lot in it and then we’ve given away a poor goal, probably decision making at the back in terms of a clearance. We spoke to Bodie Thistleton afterwards, we think he’s tried to get the ball under control but probably on the stretch a little bit, when a clearance was probably the right decision but we got punished for that.

“Then we gave away another poor goal, we give the ball away at left back and then our reactions were the most disappointing thing. We gave the ball away and rather than be a positive reaction to try and get back after, we almost accepted it a bit which was the most disappointing thing and we ended up 2-0 down.

“In truth while we did some good stuff deeper in the pitch by trying to play out, we never looked like we were going to threaten their goal. I think our first occasion where we worked the goalkeeper was in the last minute of the game through Josh Taroni when he stepped into midfield. In terms of cutting edge, we lacked a bit of that, and overall Doncaster deserved to win the game.”

In the second half, Freeman would make changes to his side, in an effort to create more attacking threat. When explaining this decision, he said: “Kia Svark came off injured but we’ve seen it as an opportunity to get Kyan (Baker-McKay) up there and use his quality to try and get us some more efforts on goal and I thought he did get into some good positions. But we didn’t manage to manifest that in opportunities at their goal. That was probably a little disappointing when we needed to show some urgency and show some creativity to get some efforts on goal, we were lacking at it from that side today.”

Due to loan commitments and injuries, several players from the under 16’s featured in the match. Freeman discussed the importance this opportunity will have for these players. Saying: “It’s really important, you see Bodie started the game today, himself and Dan Matthews probably more than the others at this moment in time have had opportunities in the under 18’s. We had a start for Jack Willow, I think that was his first start playing for the team in the midfield. The rest of the bench were all under 16’s. So that will stand them in good stead, plus it will give them an indicator as to what the level is like. Some of the things they can get away with at under 16s football, you can tell the difference with physicality, it’s important for their learning which is great for them.”

As the season draws to a close, Freeman reflected on the success the academy has had this season. He said: “It’s been good, results are one indicator and we’ve done well in the early part of the season. Since the end of our FA Youth Cup run, we’ve prioritised getting some of the second years out on loan. Results have been a little bit harder to come by, which is fine as it’s part of development.

“In essence, our success at the end of the season will be judged by the amount of professional contracts we get from those second years because that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make players that will go on and play in our first team and we know that doesn’t happen all the time, we certainly want to produce players that go on to have a career in the game and that’s what we’re going to keep working away at.”


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