City’s Under 18 side have managed to beat the cold snap in preparation for Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup clash with Fulham.
Saturday’s scheduled league fixture away to Crewe fell victim to the sub-zero temperatures, but Huddersfield Town, who also had a game called off due to the weather, travelled across the Pennines on Saturday to City’s Academy.
The artificial surface at Platt Lane meant that the young Blues were able to have a valuable work-out a fortnight after their last competitive fixture, something appreciated by Mark Allen, Head of the Academy:
“Huddersfield were good enough to come down to give us a friendly on the Astroturf. We got a good 90 minutes under our belts, working out some of the ring-rustiness we have because we’ve not played for a couple of weeks.
“It was a good chance to get as many out as possible in a match environment, it was something we definitely needed. Everyone’s glad to have got some match practice in ahead of Wednesday’s game.”
Wednesday’s visitors also had their weekend league fixture postponed, but they are certain to pose a stern test for City as they currently head the Barclays Premier Academy League’s Group A.
Mark adds, “Fulham are top of their league, and we know that they are a good footballing team that score goals. We are going to have to be alert and ready for them, but our real focus will be on our game and we can do.”
City’s line-up could feature several players who have featured for the Elite Development side in recent months, including last week’s derby win in the Manchester Senior Cup. The Club’s policy for younger players is “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough”, and Mark feels that it is paying dividends all round.
“The policy is going very well, and we never forget that what we do is all about the development of players. When players like George Evans, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Ellis Plummer, Devante Cole, Adam Drury and Jordi Hiwula all get chances to play for the EDS, that is a fantastic advert for the club’s development programme. “
Kick off at Ewen Fields is at 7pm, with admission prices of £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, with the prospect of home advantage against Burnley in the quarter finals for the winners.