EDS & Academy

City EDS and Academy Tour Blog: Day Eight

City EDS and Academy Tour Blog: Day Eight
City EDS and under-18s play their second and final games in Croatia on Tuesday before they fly back to the UK on Wednesday.

For that reason, there will be no blog tomorrow as we click into match day mode here on mcfc.co.uk, with Twitter updates, match reports, highlights and reaction to come.

Yesterday evening the EDS players geared up for their encounter with HNK Rijeka, taking to the training pitches for an entertaining session which focused on build-up play and finishing.

We were treated to all types of goals from the boys, from Seko Fofana’s wonderful, arcing finish on his instep, to Olivier Ntcham’s sidestep of the keeper and lash in off the underside of the bar.

Ntcham’s is the first of the goals in this little Instagram clip – as you can see, the hulking Parisian isn’t really one for the tap-ins…

The best part of the session came at the end when boss Patrick Vieira invited the lads to demonstrate their imagination and creativity – taking the reins off for them to decide their angles of approach.

After training came to an end, we took dinner al-fresco with the EDS boys on a terrace at the hotel which looked out to the sea.

It was a really pleasant atmosphere, with the boys enjoying this small treat after all of their hard work over the past eight days, although the under-18s went off site for dinner in the centre of Novigrad, so maybe we didn’t quite have the hottest ticket in town!

This morning, it was another early start for breakfast as preparations for the games would continue in the auditorium with a team meeting straight after.

There was a welcome new face around the breakfast table in the shape of Mathias Bossaerts, who had jetted in from the UK overnight.

With Shay Facey receiving treatment on a troublesome injury back home and Jason Denayer preparing to fly out to the USA with the first-team, the 18-year old Belgian defender has been drafted in for Tuesday’s game.#

Mathias admitted to feeling a bit jaded after flying into Venice and transferring here in the small hours of the morning but he seemed happy enough to be around his friends and buoyed by his experiences in Scotland with the first-team.

The team meeting is Patrick and his coaching staff’s chance to share the gameplan for the upcoming match, provide feedback on the work undertaken so far and preview what the lads can expect on the day ahead.

Down at the pitch, the usual pre-activations took place before Skills Coach Kristian Wilson led a drill which featured players tethering themselves together using black lines and trying to get away from one another with and without the ball.

There were some epic duels, including this one between Jose Angel Pozo.

A half-sized pitch was then set up and the players were split into attack against defence.

Once again, there were some brilliant strikes, with Pozo especially impressing with his clinical eye for goal there for all to see.

The Spanish youth international bagged a number of goals and Brandon Barker was also catching the eye down the wing, with clean, rapid feet and direct running bamboozling defenders throughout.

Here are a few highlights from the morning’s play.

CityTV’s Lee Jones then set up a goal for a new feature coming to your (laptop and phone) screens soon… Feed the Goat.

We split the boys into three groups of five, giving them each two balls and challenging them to strike it through the hole in the “O”.

You’ll have to wait to see how they got on but, for a sneak peek, here's how I got on...

Needless to say, the goat remained un-fed, but I don't think it's the worst effort, especially given that a number of the players and staff were watching... no pressure, or anything...

We’ve been treated to glorious sunshine on every day since the washout which greeted our arrival – that was, until today.

There were moody skies from the second we woke up this morning and the storm they promised has been delivered.

As I write this, the trees are shaking, the sea is tossing and foaming, and the rain is bucketing down horizontally – good job that the lads are going to stay indoors for their workout this afternoon, sheltering in the gym for an hour and a half before dinner.

The under-18s match against is at 9.30am (BST), while the Elite Development Squad take on Rijeka at 6pm (BST).

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed these little snippets from the EDS and Academy pre-season tour of Croatia.

#AskPatrick now available to watch on the site here and the final instalment of Jack Byrne’s Tour Diary will be live on the site tomorrow.

Come back then to also find out how both teams got on in their final matches and, looking further ahead, we’ll have coverage of the EDS trip to Germany next week and news on all of the upcoming Academy matches as the 2014/15 season approaches.

Until then…

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