Youth Team Back In TrainingBlackpool’s Head of Coaching Richie Kyle was full of praise for his youth team after they returned to pre-season training.
The Tangerines will be looking to defend their North West Youth Alliance league title this term and following the release of the fixtures, Kyle revealed there was a great atmosphere in and around the team.
“The atmosphere in the camp is great, the boys gave everything yesterday and at the end they were dead on their feet. I’m impressed,” he said.
“There is a new group of players here now, a few have left from last season but we still have a lot of second years here which will be good for the first years to learn from.”
First up for the league title holders is a home clash against Walsall, and it’s s a fixture which evokes happy memories for Kyle.
“I felt the game against Walsall last season was a defining moment. They were tough to beat but the way we played that day will always stick with me, to come away with a 3-0 win was fantastic and it set us up for our run-in which led to the title. It’s a game I remember fondly.”
The Liverpudlian was quick to play down his side’s ‘favourites’ tag but felt last year will stand them in good stead.
“I wouldn’t say we are the favourites as many teams have had a good intake of players but I can assure you we’ll be competitive. I have a good group here and the experience of our lads from last season will be crucial.
“The likes of Walsall and Oldham are always strong but to be honest, it’s a tough league and not many would be considered as walk-overs.”
Kyle is fully aware of the expectation that follows his side this season, but it's something he's relishing.
“Everyone will be raising their game against us now as we’re the team to beat. We’ve developed a winning mentality and it’s something the new lads will be expected to grasp.
“I expect nothing less than 100% and if we play like we train, we’ll be successful.
“Obviously the new lads will need some time to adapt, but the new group have jelled quickly so the signs are good.”
The youth team’s pre-season campaign will start on Wednesday evening with a match against Morecombe College, but Kyle says at this stage it’s more about fitness than anything else.
“At this stage of the season we need to get the lads up to match speed, so this match (against Morecombe College) will be about that,” he added.