EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy excited by Papa John's Trophy challenge

Elite Development Squad head coach Brian Barry-Murphy says he and his City youngsters are hugely excited by the prospect of Tuesday’s opening Papa John’s Trophy group clash away to Scunthorpe United.

City have made a fine start to the new PL2 season, recording an excellent 4-2 win at home to Blackburn after an opening day draw away at Liverpool.

But the trip to take on the League Two side for what will be the EDS side’s third visit in as many seasons to the Sands Venue Stadium will present a challenge of a different magnitude.

City also face forthcoming Group E trips to Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers as we seek to qualify for the knockout stages for a fourth consecutive season.


And Barry-Murphy, thanks to his time in charge at Rochdale, knows the tournament will provide a different and unique challenge to his players – albeit one that will only help further their growth and development.

“(It will be a totally different feeling going to Scunthorpe,” Barry-Murphy asserted.

“It’s an intriguing, unique competition and something totally different.

“I have been on the other side of the fence (as Rochdale manager), so I have a real understanding what it will be like for those guys.

“The way it’s made up and the benefit to all clubs is huge.

“At Rochdale it was one of the main areas for blooding young players, it aided development greatly and I know from speaking to the players here already it’s a huge part of the calendar.


“I know it will be a really competitive game against a tough opponent at a traditionally very good ground in England.

“It will be a great experience for our players and we will look to continue to build.”

Barry-Murphy also knows that the match will be fixture of a fiercely competitive nature with City likely to be up against players the majority of which will be older and far more experienced.

However, he says such steep learning curves are invaluable looking to the City youngsters’ long-term development.

“You know how competitive it’s going to be because the league clubs really do look forward to playing against the Premier League academy clubs and vice versa,” the City head coach continued.

“Even last year I think the players found it difficult when the side were beaten by Tranmere. But again experiences like that are priceless.


“It’s a brilliant test and a unique area that the players can look forward to.

“We have built really well from Liverpool to here and the lads are progressing well physically and it will be brilliant to go there and hopefully play as well as we did against Blackburn.”

View all club partners