EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy: U19s can’t wait for Brugge challenge

Brian Barry-Murphy says City’s Under-19s ‘cannot wait’ to lock horns with Club Brugge on Tuesday.

The two sides meet in Matchday Three of their UEFA Youth League Group A campaign, heading into the clash level on points with four points from their opening two games.

Nine-man City held out for a precious draw at Paris Saint-Germain last time out, while Brugge stormed to a 4-1 triumph at RB Leipzig, and Barry-Murphy asserts his young charges are relishing the prospect of testing themselves against ‘brilliant’ opposition.


“We have great challenges coming up over the next few weeks, starting with Brugge on Tuesday,” he said.

They’re a brilliant team. I’ve seen all of their stuff. We can’t wait to test ourselves at that level of competition.

“We’ll see a high calibre of game. We just have to go there and be ourselves, irrespective of what players we have, and try to push as hard as possible to be the best version we can.

“We’ve spoken previously about the nature of the competition – it’s viewed by the players and everybody as being a very exciting opportunity.

“There’s a real sense of excitement of what this game will look like. It will be tough but that’s what we want.”

With the challenge of European competition, new countries, different cultures, and varied opposition playing styles, the UEFA Youth League provides valuable experience for young players on their development journey, as well as tough tests for the coaching staff.

For Barry-Murphy, it is experience that cannot be replicated or underestimated.

“Physically, we’re just hoping the lads can progress to a place where they’re capable of building on their own individual and collective performances,” he added.


“Pushing the lads really hard right to the end – no matter the score – is great and it works well but when you actually go to a place like Paris or play against Brugge, it will be really tough until the end. You won’t even have to create that scenario.

“That’s the reason why we have to focus so hard on being immune to the scorelines of these games. We’re trying to push the lads as hard as we can because they need that.

“It’s a brilliant area for us to develop our players. We’ll be pushed hard, irrespective of what we do.

“It’s a very humbling and great privilege for me personally to go to these places – to see these teams and fans, to find out what it’s going to be like and to try to create the best conditions for players to show the best of their ability.

“It’s been a great learning experience for me already and I can’t wait to see what Brugge has to offer.”

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