Davie Irons on the Tuesday friendly
Youth team boss Davie Irons gave us his reaction to the thrilling friendly at Boroughbridge on Tuesday evening.
“It was a game I was really looking forward to purely because I wanted to see the lads in action. They played well and it was a great PR exercise for the club.
“They really looked after us from the moment we got there and, in terms of the game, it gave me a lot of food for thought. We have some really good players and the only thing we need to work on is their game awareness. That will come in time and I’m looking forward to watching them develop.
“One of the big things was that they showed a good bit of character. The reaction as a group to their third goal showed how pleased they were and, even though we say it isn’t all about winning at this level, it certainly doesn’t do anyone any harm.
“Winning games is a good habit to have and players always perform better if it’s with confidence. This result gives them a big lift because they were on a bit of a downer from the result they suffered at Bury just before I came into the job. There was a little bit of apprehension in the group because of that, but they responded well.
“It was a different kind of challenge for them because they were playing against a team full of older players. It makes it much tougher physically but it was a good overall exercise. It brought a few fans in as well, which is good for the home side, and it has set things up nicely for the lead up to our opening game of the season against Wrexham.
“I’ve trained with the lads for a couple of weeks now but I think you only ever really learn about a player once you see him in a game. That’s the same at every level. You get to see their decision making process and whether or not they have the capacity to learn.
"Some pick things up quicker than others but I don’t look at is a short term project. I have these lads for one or two years, depending what stage they are at, and I’ll work with them as much as I can. Hopefully they’ll take things on board and push on.
“Youth football is about development but, as I said earlier, we all like to win. I was as chuffed as any of them when we scored the late goal because it doesn’t matter what sport you are involved in, it’s about winning. In football you always enjoy it more if you get the victory.
"These lads are now linked up to a professional football club and their club is judged on the number of games it wins. You have to understand that from the moment you come in.
“If the lads need a carrot for what can happen - if they do things properly - then they now just need to look at Patrick [Brough]. We got together last Saturday morning for a training session and I pulled him to one side to tell him he was needed for the first team squad. We went back into the dressing room and told the rest of the group and they were all over the moon for him.
“I told them that I wanted every single one of them to want be in his shoes. It’s one of the attractions of this club that they all have a chance. It’s up to them to step up to the plate.
“Next for us is the start of our season this weekend. I don’t know much about Wrexham but I’ve heard that they are always strong. I’m really looking forward to going up against them to see where we are and how we react. For me, it’s just good to be back and involved and I can’t wait to really get my teeth into it.”
United Youth v Wrexham Youth, Creighton Rugby Club, Saturday 10 August, kick off 11am