Academy Manager reflects on a fantastic season for U18s.Henry Newman took some time out last week to reflect on an outstanding season for the Barnet FC Academy, as the Youth Team rounded off their season with a 4-1 win over MK Dons to finish third in the Merit League.
That impressive showing comes off the back of the Football League Youth Alliance South East division title being wrapped up in January, and following such a remarkable campaign for the U18s Henry is confident that the signs are good for the next generation of potential Barnet players:
“We have not changed how we have played all the way throughout the whole season. Rossi and I have strong beliefs on the right way to play football and the most effective way to play football which the team has really embraced.
“You have just got to look at the results to see that it is the most successful season in the history of Barnet U18s. There’s no doubt that we have got a group of players here that we think have got a very, very bright future.”
The recent Barnet FC Academy Dinner saw captain Harry Taylor named as Player of the Year followed by Shane Cojocarel in third, Nana Kyei in fourth and a special mention for Mathew Stevens who finished the season with a sensational haul of 53 goals. However, with a remarkable fourteen scholars being involved with first team duties at various points during the season, Henry admits that competition for full-time contracts is high:
“Harry has been an absolute stalwart for us at centre-half and right back for us this year. Shane has scored over 25 goals from an attacking midfield position and set up lots more which is a fantastic effort and Nana has had an absolutely brilliant year from midfield in his first year as a scholar. It is safe to say that there is competition in terms of who wants to be the top dog in the group!
“We are getting towards decision time now so I will sit down with the manager and the Chairman in the next few weeks and we will start to make decisions on which players we think have got a chance of being a professional footballer at Barnet.”
The regular season may have come to an end, but Henry says that there is plenty more hard work to be done as he prepares to build on this year’s success and prepare for another exciting campaign:
“We have got some U17 fixtures to look at what is coming through next year so we can shape our squad accordingly and we have also got some fixtures against some first teams for the U18s to give them a new test before we make some decisions on them.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year in the job and we will keep going now towards the end of May before taking a rest and come back in July fresh and raring to go and looking forward to doing it all again and bettering it if we can.”
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