Academy manager Jim Cassell is still proud of the Youth Team’s achievements this season, despite just falling short in their quest for the league and cup double.
The Under 18 side lost 2-0 to Aston Villa in Sunday’s national Academy League play-off final, but following their superb FA Youth Cup triumph Jim is delighted with their overall achievements.
Jim says, “It was a bit disappointing, it was almost an anti-climax after what we have achieved this season, which should not be underestimated. We told the boys afterwards that we may have lost to Villa, but we have been the best overall throughout the country this season
“We had a few strapped up, which you get at this time of year, and we were missing two who can create in Danny Sturridge and Vladimir Weiss. But they earned top marks for effort – it just was not to be.
“Their keeper made a magnificent save from Tutte, and we hit the bar with a free kick from Karl Moore late on. We tried changing it around, Dedryck played up front and we played three in midfield but it was one of those days.”
The young Blues made it to the final with a 4-2 win over an uncompromising Sunderland side only Monday, and Jim felt that the short gap between games after such a test had a big say in Sunday’s result.
“It might have been a game too far for them, which often happens in football. We needed a few more days rest to give them a recovery, but no sour grapes because we had a real go at it,” Jim adds.