City's acclaimed Youth Academy is ready for the challenge of the new era under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The change in manager over the summer has brought many changes in its wake, but Academy Manager Jim Cassell says that he and everybody at Platt Lane is enthusiastic about working with the new boss.
"It’s all good, because we all work in support of the first team, that is the purpose of being in football. Everybody wants the first team to do well, and our role is to keep producing players to add to the Manager’s squad.
"With having a new manager on board, he’s going to need time to find out about the club. Of course he has major experience from within the game, and we’re all looking forward to working with him, benefiting from his time at club and national level."
Last season's Under 18 side had a great season, topping the group of the national league competition by 18 points, but suffered a heartbreaking end to the campaign when a last minute goal saw them lose at Sunderland in the play-off final. Jim's mantra has always been that the Academy's work is more than just about results, and he hopes to continue the philosophy with Sven as manager.
Jim continues: "I’ve been at City for 10 years, and what I will say about the previous managers I’ve worked with is that they were all terrific gentlemen and were a great support in their own ways towards the Academy. I don’t see any difference with the new manager at this point, his record speaks volumes at all levels of management.
"It’s always sad when one person goes, and I want to thank Stuart Pearce for his terrific support for the Academy and there’s this new challenge for the club. We’ve all got to work in support of the new manager, and the Academy will continue to do that as well as we can."
The Academy's 2007/08 fixture list is now available.
After winning their group by a massive 18 points last season, City's Academy Under 18 side start this year's campaign away to Watford on August 18 (10.30am k.o).
The young Blues' first home game sees Barnsley visit Platt Lane on Saturday August 25 with an 11am start. The opening derby of the campaign sees our near rivals Man United travel to City on Saturday September 29. Kick-off again is 11am.