EDS & Academy

Vicens urges Under-18s to build on impressive start

Vicens urges Under-18s to build on impressive start
City’s Under-18s will resume league action this weekend buoyed by the way the squad have navigated what head coach Carlos Vicens’ described as a ‘tough’ first month.

Appointed as successor to Gareth Taylor in the summer, the Spaniard has over seen a superb start to the new campaign despite a demanding set of early fixtures which included a trip to Liverpool and a derby with Manchester United’s Under-18s and a clash with joint leaders Everton.

A tally of three wins and a draw means City will resume action at Middlesbrough this weekend in joint top spot in the Premier League Under-18 North standings alongside Everton with both having gained 10 points.

As the City youngsters prepare for the trip to Teesside, Vicens had nothing but praise for the way his players have responded to the challenge so far – all the more so given it is essentially a new-look squad this season.

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“When we saw the calendar, we knew it was going to be a tough opening month,” the Under-18s head coach reflected.

“Just one player has stayed with us from last season – the rest are all new.

“You need to some time to get your concepts through to the team and we knew it would be tough, but I think they have responded really well, especially given the different circumstances of pre-season.

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“So, I’m very proud (of their progress so far). There’s lots to improve but I’m happy as every week I’m seeing a step forward.

“There have been many positives but it’s important that they realise now that we start again.

“There is a lot more to come and the season has just started. We will take what we have but we need to focus on more detail and to improve as the season goes on.”

In tandem with the rest of football, the return to action in the wake of the COVD-19 pandemic has seen our Under-18s play games behind closed doors.

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It’s a challenging scenario for everyone but Vicens says the return to training and competitive action in August only served to heighten the groups’ appreciation for the sport.

“After being for so long not knowing what was going to happen with football, I’m thankful at the chance we’ve got to be back and having a job as a lot of people, not least in my country, are not so fortunate right now,” the Spaniard added.

“Where we can be out (playing) on the grass and given the circumstances, it’s a luxury.

“It also probably makes you appreciate it all the more as coming back in the summer made us all realise how much we had missed it.”

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