EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy excited for EDS opener

Barry-Murphy excited for EDS opener
Brian Barry-Murphy says he can’t wait to take charge of his first Elite Development Squad (EDS) match ahead of Sunday’s Premier League 2 curtain-raiser against Liverpool.

We begin our defence of the title with a difficult trip to Merseyside, with kick-off scheduled for 14:00 (UK), before welcoming Blackburn Rovers to the Academy Stadium five days later.

A late season slump derailed Rovers’ hopes of clinching the PL2 title, but Barry-Murphy is under no illusions about the difficult start his young blues have been afforded.

Nonetheless, the former Rochdale boss is excited to get his first taste of EDS football, and is confident that his players have what it takes to hit the ground running.

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“I think it’ll be great for everyone to just get into the games, myself included,” he revealed ahead of this weekend’s clash.

“Naturally, there’s an element of not quite knowing where we are in preparation but that’s a continuation from last year, and the players and club showed how adaptive they were in the way they faced every challenge that came.

“These games are totally different for me to be involved in and I just can’t wait to see what it looks like really.

“The players will get into a rhythm and it’ll be exciting for everyone to see how we progress off the back of last season.”

WATCH: Guardiola reflects on ‘unbelievable’ 2020-21 campaign.

Barry-Murphy joins City from League Two outfit Rochdale, where he enjoyed eight years as a player before taking on the manager’s role in 2019.

The Irishman was a hugely popular figure at the Club, overseeing the development of several young talents, including City loanees Gavin Bazunu and Yeboah Amankwah, during his time in the hotseat.

And although he’s delighted to be starting a new challenge at the Academy Stadium, he paid tribute to the Rochdale supporters for the affection they have shown him over the previous decade.

He reflected: “The support I’ve had from the fans since I left has been amazing. It’s been synonymous of my time at Rochdale really, it’s been an amazing club for me.

“I suppose like a lot of clubs, a lot of the stuff that’s gone on over the last twelve months has been under the radar and the connection with the fans over that period has been a lot about personal stuff.

“A lot of families in the area have lost people due to Covid and I suppose with it being a smaller club, you get to have that real direct contact with supporters.

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“When they lose members of their family and inform you of what’s going on, it hits hard, and that’s been significant for me in terms of the support I’ve had when they realised I was leaving.

“It was humbling really and gave a nice send off to what has been a long and enjoyable 11 years.”

Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad take on Liverpool on Sunday 15 August. Kick-off is scheduled for 14:00 (UK).

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