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YOUTH: One of the most pleasing games

14 January 2015

Academy manager Alan Moore on last weekend's game

Youth coach Alan Moore spoke to us about the pleasing away performance at Wigan last weekend.

"We went down to Wigan with a plan and a set way we wanted to play based on the coaching syllabus," he said. "That challenged the players psychologically, more than anything, because we asked them to do something that was alien to them.

"We learned a lot from the players and it was one of the most pleasing games we've had this year. We were very happy from a coaches point of view because there were some good performances and we saw how the lads can adapt to different ways of playing."

"We knew it would be difficult because we asked them to set up like a first team would set up for an away game," he explained. "We kept things tight for the first 20 minutes and it worked out that way because the wind was against us.

"We will do a similar thing again in the future. There were certain lads who took a while to adapt but we were very pleased with the overall performance.

"We don't decide how we're going to play based on the opposition, we follow the coaching syllabus to make sure the players have an all round education. That means if they do progress to the next level they aren't hearing new things." 

"In the last half an hour of the game we let the lads play 11v11 which was a lot easier for them," he added. "That meant they could follow the ball and concentrate on the player in front of them rather than try to fill gaps and worry about systems.

"When we did that we were the better team and we scored the best goal of the day. We got done with late penalties at the end of each half, which was the difference between a team who is top of the league and a team who is trying to work on something during the game.

"We told them after the game we were pleased with how they'd played, but there are still things for us to work on. There is still a massive learning curve because it will all happen quicker at the next level.

"It was good for us to see which players could take it on quicker than others. We're asking young lads who just want to chase the ball to be patient, drop off and fill gaps, which they did very well." 

"The first years are ticking along nicely for us at the moment and we've introduced a few under 16s, which we will continue to do," he concluded. "Kieran Hall is one of those under 16s and he scored his third goal in three games, which is impressive considering he isn't training with us. 

"We've got Kieran starting with us in the under 18s, and Connor Hammell on the bench with the first team, which is what it's all about."

United: Eccles, Moyes, Hurley (Pearson, 55), White (Taylor, 55), Douglas, Robson, Blackburn, Quigley, Hall, Bradbury (McCue, 84), Elliott. Subs: Fowler.

Next up: United v Doncaster, Youth Alliance Cup, Saturday 17 January, kick off 1pm

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