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YOUTH: A really good week

21 August 2014

Alan Moore on Blackpool and Matty Douglas

Youth coach Alan Moore spoke to us about the Blackpool game at the weekend and the inclusion of Matty Douglas in the first team squad on Tuesday night.

"We played well against Blackpool," he said. "I think this week sums up what Vince [Overson] and myself are all about and what we believe in. We lost 2-0, even though we played really well, but Matthew Douglas was outstanding and he got his reward by being called up to the first team.

"We'd rather get beat on a weekend, and get a player in the first team squad, than win all of our games without any of our lads getting through. The players played really well, especially Matty, and we've all had a really good week." 

"Two months ago Matty was still at school and now he's on the bench for a team he's supported all of his life, so we're trying to keep him level headed," he continued. "He is anyway, he's a great kid, and we want to make sure if he gets on the pitch he's ready to do a job, because he isn't just a supporter anymore.

"He takes on all of the information well and it's no surprise that he took the step up in his stride so easily. He's obviously got a lot to learn but there's no better place to learn it than being involved with the first team.

"We know his character and we didn't think for one minute he'd be over-phased by being involved with the first team. He made the step up from under 16 to youth team very quickly and he shows us every day that he's capable of playing at youth team level. He's got the world at his feet at this moment in time, but he needs to keep working at his game and keep listening." 

"We were talking to the lads just last week about 16 year olds who have played for first teams and this just shows them that it can happen at any time," he told us. "Patrick [Brough] and Kyle [Dempsey] are other good examples of players who are still learning the game but they're doing it in the best environment possible."

"The lads are starting to come to terms with youth football as a group," he continued. "They're all a lot fitter than they were when they joined us and they're adjusting to the full time training quicker than we expected. All of the first years have hit the ground running so we've got no worries there.

"They've now got a lot of minutes under their belts which is the beauty of having a relatively small squad. Everybody is getting to play loads of football and they're all learning as they go along, which is the important thing.

"We have Walsall on Saturday and that is always a tough game. They pass the ball very well and they've got a record of producing good players. It will be tough for our lads but it's another step up from last week. We'll concentrate on our performance and see how we get on."

United: Eccles, Hurley, Pearson, White, Taylor, Douglas, Quigley (Moyes, 46), Hammell, Blackburn, Elliott, Bradbury (McCue, 75). Subs: Fowler, Rudd, Robson.  

Next up: United v Walsall, Saturday 23 August, Creighton Rugby Club, kick off 12pm

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