Lead Development Coach Ross Eames spoke to barnetfc.com today, to update supporters on his team’s progress over the last few weeks.
Looking back over pre-season, Ross said:
“The Development team have had matches against Tooting & Mitcham, Met Police, Ashford Town, Billericay Town and Queens Park Rangers.
“The performance against Tooting & Mitcham was very good and progressive – we drew 1-1 and had four 16-year-olds on the pitch.
"All the players showed great maturity to play against a good senior side.
“We played some very intelligent football and showed a lot of character & mental strength to equalise in the last five minutes.
“Our football in and out of possession was very progressive and is showing good signs of evolution.
“The game against Met Police was probably our best performance of pre-season – winning 3-0 against their full strength first team, with another very young squad.
“The most pleasing part was how we played out of possession; we pressed from the front with a front three and won the ball back high up the pitch to counter quickly and punish the opposition.
“The match against Ashford Town was a game in which we had large spells in possession.
“We had to find a way through their block, which was a little different to what the team had faced in our other pre-season games against senior sides.
“Our youngsters have learned to be patient in their build-up play from their time in the youth team though.
"But when you’re playing senior sides you don’t always get that time.
“They understand how to recycle the ball & go again, and to carry on the relentless pressure that we expect when in the 1st team.
“Winning 5-1 then beating Billericay Town 6-0 showed progress in the final third and in their ability to be ruthless.
“Shaun Batt scored a hat-trick in that match against Billericay and we played some excellent football going forwards.
“QPR were the visitors to The Hive on Tuesday – they won the game 2-1.
"We had long periods where we dominated possession, but we lacked penetration as a result of some decision making, or our quality with the final pass or shot.
"However again there were plenty of positives to take away from the match, with four U18s playing.
“It was a young side, but Alie Sesay and Ben Tomlinson played.
“Jamie Stephens came through 90 minutes in that game too, which is obviously good news.
“QPR brought a decent side that played good football, with Paul Hall and Andy Impey implementing a good style.
“Next up for the Development Team is a cup competition that starts with a group stage.
“The first game is away at Peterborough United on 6th September.
“There will be friendlies during the season too; every other Tuesday, like we’ve done in the past.
“Our hopes for the coming campaign are to carry on the process of our players developing.
“As we know, the step from the Under 21s to the First Team is a transition that needs a strategy behind it.
“So we want to continue working on that, building on the good work from last season.
“It’s a question of how can we improve and how can I do things better as a coach.
“For the second year pros, there will be loans and there will be times when they’re in the first team.
“It is about how they adapt to that environment and how they evolve – individually and collectively, but also in a positive manner.
Overall, it’s a process that has to be positive for the players and one where they can carry on in the right manner, and down the right path."