Under-18s Coach Adam Sadler has warned his young City under-18’s side to be at their best or risk becoming a scalp in tonight’s pre-season tour match against U.D Leiria.
The Blues are currently away in Portugal for a ten day pre-season training camp and will face the second division side’s Academy team at 18:30 tonight.
“Leiria will play with fluidity in their game – they are going to be a little bit older than the group that we put out so our players will face a physical test, too," said Sadler.
“There is an expectation of performance levels that goes with City being champions that feeds right down to youth level and we’ll have to be ready to meet that challenge.”
Sadler moved on to point to the excellent facilities that the team has been provided with in Portugal as evidence of the club’s continued commitment to youth football.
“I only hope that the players realise what a good place they are in to learn and develop as footballers,
“Any team at any level would be absolutely delighted with the facilities we have at our disposal but we’re here for football and as wonderful as the hotel, the food, the hospitality and the training pitches are, I’m looking forward to getting another match under our belts.”
Defender George Swan captained the under-18s in their first friendly of the summer, a 2-1 win over Hallam FC and it remains to be seen if he’ll keep the armband here in Portugal but his manager was full of praise for the leadership skills of the Yorkshire-born centre-half.
“He has a calmness about him – he’s a Yorkshire boy and all of the men I’ve met from there have been laid-back and hard-working – George is no different in that respect and he really seems to have the bit between his teeth this pre-season.”
We’ll bring you a full report of the match against U.D Leiria after the game here on the site.