The under 18’s get their Youth Alliance season underway this weekend, as they welcome Accrington Stanley to Myerscough College.
It is a much-anticipated season, even at youth level due to the current climate and football being suspended for the majority of 2020.
Danny Ventre’s side have had a mixed pre-season in terms of results, but that isn’t forgetting the fact they have faced teams such as Liverpool and Manchester City in preparation for the upcoming season.
With many new faces added to the squad this summer, manager Danny Ventre can’t wait to get his teeth stuck into the new campaign on Saturday.
“It can’t come quick enough,” he said.
“We’ve had a testing pre-season playing a variety of different teams to challenge us, and I’m pleased with how it’s gone.
“There’s still lots of work to do, but the players are looking like they’re taking in the standards we want and how we want to go about things.”
Pre-season has certainly been strange, as the club and coaching staff have had to put measures in place to ensure the club adheres to all government advice, but despite the challenges, Ventre believes his side have come together well.
“It was very much challenging with the COVID regulations in place as we had to start off in small bubbles and build gradually from there.
“I feel this slowed down the process of the new players gelling in. I’m sure every club has faced these challenges, but there were also positives to take from small group training, for example, working on what players need to make their game better.
“Having said that, the boys have come together well, and I feel we can only get stronger as the season progresses.”
The season starts this Saturday against Accrington Stanley. Last season, Ventre’s side lost one and won one against Stanley, but Ventre recognises circumstances are different this year and he’s wary of the threats the opposition may pose.
“I’m in the dark in terms of how they will play, but I’m sure they will be raring to go, just like ourselves.
“I’ll be concentrating on how we approach the game and making sure we are ready for whatever may come our way.”
Although the lads have pushed themselves and prepared well for the upcoming season, Ventre believes he shouldn’t add any pressure to the side by setting targets, despite him having huge belief in the players.
“There’s no targets set as I don’t want to add pressure to the players too much,” he said.
“It would be great if we saw the work we have been doing in pre-season come to fruition, and if it does, I’m sure we will see more victories than defeats.
“If that’s the case, then there’s no reason why the players can achieve what they want to this year.”
The under 18’s kick their season off on Saturday at 10:30am. This game is strictly behind closed doors and entry will not be permitted due to COVID-19 regulations.