The curtain comes down on a hectic Barclays Under-18 Premier League campaign against the Villans but, with two overseas tournaments taking place in the coming weeks, there’s still plenty of football to be played.
Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna believes this weekend’s domestic clash will serve as a useful test for the players and has called for another positive showing in the 12pm kick-off.
“It’s a game we’re looking forward to,” he confirmed. “Villa always provide a good test in terms of their work rate and how organised and disciplined they are so it’s always a really good contest.
“We’ll look to impose ourselves on the game, hopefully have the top players on the pitch, create lots of opportunities and hopefully go out with a really good performance.”
Kieran also stressed the importance of remaining focused after the Villa clash with so much in the boys’ schedules in the coming weeks.
“At this stage of the season the groups are different, a few of the players will hopefully be involved in the last couple of Under-21s games and the Under-16s have got more pressing priorities with their GCSEs,” he added.
“We’ve still got two tournaments to go, which the boys are all really excited for, so there’s lots of football still to play. We’ve got the last game of a long league campaign on Saturday and the boys will be looking to perform well.”
Away from the domestic scene, Academy players Ismail Azzaoui and Marcus Edwards have been making an impact at the UEFA Under-17 Championships in Bulgaria this week.
Ismail caught the eye in Belgium’s Group B clash with Germany, hitting the post in the Red Devils’ 2-0 defeat on Wednesday, while Marcus stepped off the bench to net England’s winning goal in their 1-0 triumph over Italy in Group D on Thursday.