This week saw the Barnet FC Youth Team progress to the second round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club’s history, something that Academy Manager Henry Newman says is a source of great pride.
Speaking this week, Henry reflected on another successful week for the U18s, saying:
“It is pleasing. All the more pleasing because it has been a difficult run there so far. This will be our fifth game in the competition and when you are playing every Saturday it is tough for a group of 16 and 17-year-old lads and at the moment they are coping with it really well.
“All of the group – Rossi the Youth Team coach, Kostas in terms of managing the workload of the players, Gemma Clarke in the medical department as well – are doing an excellent job in order to make sure that the boys are as fresh as possible each time a game comes around.”
It was today announced that should Barnet win their second round tie against either Southend United or Leverstock Green – who play on Monday – their reward will be a third round tie at home to Championship club Middlesbrough to be played once again on the first team pitch at The Hive.
However, Henry is refusing to look beyond the next round and is expecting a difficult test whoever the Bees face:
“The favourites for us to be playing are Southend. Make no mistake; that will be a very tough game. We played them in the league and drew 2-2. We played very well but didn’t take our chances and got punished on the counter attack a couple of times.
“Ricky Duncan over there runs a very good set-up and has done for many years. It is an established Academy at an established club in the Football League for many years. We want to go over there and cause an upset.”
Last weekend saw Barnet return to the top of their Football League Youth Alliance division with a late over AFC Wimbledon, and Henry is now looking to cement that position with a win away to Luton this weekend:
“It was pleasing to get the win. The performance perhaps wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be but that will happen.
“What I am really looking for is to get the performance back to where we want it to be against Luton which will be a tough, tough game. In my eyes, they are the best team that we have come up against this season.”
Martin Allen was quick to praise both the Youth Team players and staff this week following their cup exploits, and Henry admits that Martin has been a great source of help as he looks to nurture the next generation of Barnet stars:
“The manager has been absolutely brilliant from the first minute I walked in the door. He has been really supportive of what we are doing both in terms of calling players up and having a hands-on approach by wanting to know what is going on and watching Youth Team games.
“The link is good and the integration is there that perhaps hasn’t been there in the past, and great credit must go to the manager for that.
“The group is on the right path. The most important thing is that we have got a group of players that are getting better and better each week and I just hope that in years to come we have a core of the Academy in the Barnet first team.”
To watch the interview with Henry Newman in full, simply click below: