EDS & Academy

Van Sas hails ‘brilliant’ Barry-Murphy

City goalkeeper Mikki Van Sas believes Elite Development Squad boss Brian Barry-Murphy’s methods are currently getting the best out of him and his teammates.

Barry-Murphy made the switch to the Academy Stadium this summer following the departure of Enzo Maresca, having previously managed in the Football League with Rochdale.

Taking over a side that had claimed our inaugural Premier League 2 title the season prior, the Irishman has helped our Young Blues continue that upward trajectory, as we sit top of the table with an unbeaten record.

And EDS stopper Van Sas insists that the boss deserves huge credit for the role he’s played in that strong start to the season.


He said: “(Brian’s) a brilliant coach.

“He’s just been working on us as a group how we manage everything, if something doesn’t go right and how we react on those things, positive reactions and everything.

“He keeps the group together very well.”

That notion of squad unity was demonstrated in a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Derby County at the weekend, as our EDS returned to the top of the PL2 table.

Given our Young Blues had scored four in each of our previous three home matches this season, James McAtee’s early strike against the Rams suggested Saturday’s clash would follow a similar trend.

But City instead had to dig deep to grind out the result, with our opponents pushing Van Sas and his teammates all the way to the final whistle in pursuit of a point.

The Dutchman was delighted to preserve his first clean sheet of the season, and also paid tribute to the collective effort the squad showed to earn the victory.

“We stuck together very well, it was a very tough game because they pressed very hard and came at us man to man,” he reflected.

“With them putting a pot of crosses in, you have to stick together as a backline because every ball (if not defended properly) can go in.

“As a backline we did very well and kept the clean sheet, which is an unbelievable feeling.”