EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy points to Elite Development Squad's special spirit and bond

Elite Development Squad lead coach Brian Barry-Murphy has highlighted the special spirit and bond amongst his players as being a pivotal factor in City’s successful defence of the Premier League 2 crown.

City’s Under-23s capped another season to remember by sealing a second successive PL2 title.

Under the stewardship of Barry-Murphy who was appointed to the role last summer, City’s EDS youngsters once again garnered huge praise for their beguiling brand of football along the way to claiming their latest silverware.

In what was a season to remember, the majority of Barry-Murphy’s charges also gained vital experience by being afforded the opportunity to regularly train alongside Pep Guardiola’s first team squad.


Furthermore, several youngsters were also handed their City first team debuts across the season.

But reflecting on a memorable first year at the EDS helm, Barry-Murphy pinpointed the spirt and togetherness as being the defining factor in a campaign to remember.

“The respect the players have for each other is more than just a sentence,” Barry-Murphy asserted.

“There are guys within that dressing room who understood that they are not going to have a first team future at this club.

“But the respect that the other players who have been exposed to the first team show to those and vice versa is something really special.

“What happens then is that if anyone gets that slightly wrong, it’s noticeable and they can hold each other accountable.


“And that creates a very, very strong culture within the dressing room that is priceless really.

“I’ll be honest because when I came here, I thought that could be a challenge in terms of how everyone is competing with each other for that opportunity at first team level or that opportunity to play in our team.

“Training is competitive but when they are off the pitch or working with each other in the gym or in the canteen, the respect and the friendship they have for each other is something I didn’t expect but which is very important.

“I’m not sure how it has been developed but I think it’s something that because it’s here it needs to be grabbed hold of and highlighted because of how important it is for the next generation.

“It is significant the way it works.

“Looking back, the lads were relentless really since the turn of the year in the way we they have approached games.

“Every time they were tested, they showed a real strong mentality - both individually and collectively - and that’s also been huge."