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United next for U18s

Posted on 15 August 2008  - 12:00

Our Under-18s continue their preparations for the start of the FA Premier Academy League with a friendly trip to Manchester United on Saturday.

United next for U18s

Our Under-18s continue their preparations for the start of the FA Premier Academy League with a friendly trip to Manchester United on Saturday.

It's the first leg of a Manchester double-header for the lads who face last season's FA Youth Cup winners Manchester City in league action when the real thing kicks-off next weekend.

Like last year, another positive pre-season continued with an agonising second place in the Santiago Tournament in Spain last weekend.

Playing in a four-team tournament, the lads came from 1-0 down to beat Deportivo la Coruna 3-1 in the semi-final with goals from Kyle Fraser-Allen, Jon Obika and Dean Parrett.

They found themselves 1-0 down early in the final against Benfica as well but responded with some excellent football to lead 3-1 with Steven Caulker, Danny Rose and Takura Mtandari on target.

However, Benfica pulled a goal back late on and then equalised deep into injury time to take the final to a penalty shoot-out, which they won.

It followed a runners-up spot in the prestigious Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium and coach Alex Inglethorpe reported: "We did well to come back against Deportivo and then played some of the best football I've seen since I've been at the club to go 3-1 up in the final.

"I don't quite know where six minutes of added time came from but Benfica managed to equalise right at the end and then won on penalties.

"It was disappointing not to win it but we have to look at it as more fantastic experience. We've played the likes of Deportivo, Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt, Celtic and Anderlecht this pre-season and it will benefit the lads no end."

Back to Saturday's friendly and United - third in their division of the FAPAL last season - always provide a good yardstick going into the season. "We played them at this time last year as well, won 5-3 and that was one of the best youth games I've been involved in," added Alex.

"The youth team will be slightly younger next season as we look to push lads on into the reserve set-up and this will another good test for us at this stage."

Squad in Santiago: Button, L Butcher, Caulker, L Butcher, Smith, Parrett, Kasim, Townsend, Mason, Obika, Bostock, Mtandari, D Hutton, Fraser-Allen, Rose, Pekhart, Hughton.