Academy manager Alan Moore on final preparations
Academy manager Alan Moore spoke to us about the new season as the lads prepare for their first league game against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday morning.
“It was good to round off our pre-season preparations with games against Bolton and Blackburn this week,” he said. “I keep talking about challenging the players and playing against category 1 teams, like Blackburn and Bolton, gave us exactly that.
“I know we keep saying this but pre-season is all about fitness and education for the lads. As long as we’re seeing signs that things are happening and lessons are being learned then we will always come away feeling pleased.”
“It was pleasing to see the way the lads approached both fixtures,” he told us. “Being completely honest, we didn’t play as well in the Bolton game but we got a positive result [1-1 draw]. We played really well in the Blackburn game, and lots of good things came out of it, but we ended up getting beat [2-3].
“The important thing is that we’re seeing a lot of very good things. Our session last Monday was about looking at things we could implement against Blackburn on Tuesday. We asked the players to try a couple of things which could affect the game, if they were done properly, and we got a decent performance out of it.”
And with the friendly fixture scheduled completed, next up is the visit of Tranmere as the league campaign sets off with a home fixture at Creighton on Saturday morning.
“I think it’s the same at every level in terms of feeling a change in mood once the season comes round,” he said. “As we get closer to the first game you can sense a change in the intensity levels within the dressing room.
“Win, lose or draw against Tranmere, I will be happy if the players have applied themselves in the right way. If they do that they won’t be going too far wrong.”
United U18 v Tranmere Rovers U18, Creighton Rugby Club, Saturday 2 August, kick off 11am
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Make sure you pick up a copy of our match day programme for the Luton game to read more of Alan Moore’s thoughts on the season ahead and on making sure the work is done with the scholars to make bridging the gap from U18 to professional level a much smoother transition.