Catch up with the young U's
Manchester City provided us with our latest Academy fixture over the weekend for our Under 8 - Under 11 players.
With such a fixture and the distance involved we felt it was only right to take full advantage and use the weekend as another good opportunity to support the players with key preparation skills and information whilst continuing to learn more about our younger players. We therefore made plans for all players to train, travel, and stay over night in Manchester as part of their preparation.
Supported gratefully by the Cambridge United Youth & Community Trust, the players and staff travelled up in luxury, enjoyed a team meeting and evening meal, before getting their heads down for rest and recovery. This time was important to spend with the players and great for them to continue and improve their social skills with each other and us.
Travelling is a part of any young potential footballer's commitment. Certain fixtures will be further afield but they will be challenging and rewarding and this fixture enabled us to promote the aspects we encourage, which for mainly Under 8 and 9's, would be their first overnight stay with us. For many of the Under 10's and Under 11's, it was one of several already experienced, so naturally we had two kinds of groups with us.
It was a good opportunity for the players to show all 4 corners of their development to date as we provided them with trust and responsibility. It also enabled us to see more of their characters and personalities and to see how they improved from previous experiences or how they were to handle their first!
Eating habits to bed time sleeping, from organisation and communication to leadership it was good to view and identify! These experiences are great for them when they are in control of their own decision making and it certainly provides them with opportunities to promote themselves. Naturally some need more support than others but I must say how pleased we were with the way they conducted themselves throughout!
Receiving compliments from both staff members and the general public when having our evening meal to performing well on the pitch the following morning were nice to hear. We do not look to seek praise, however it shows that when you conduct yourself in the best possible way, people will notice so it was a Well Done to the players! All aspects are important both on and off the pitch so our time this weekend was to continue to support and emphasis the importance of good behaviour and attitude towards their actions.
We were also very keen to identify their performances against very talented Manchester City Academy players. Four fixtures were on show at their Academy Venue and it was clear to see all the fixtures were competitive and full of quality players showing their talent.
The individuality together with team play were evident and very encouraging to see especially against such a good academy. It was also pleasing to be informed that we had players that they were would be keen on if they lived closer to Manchester which highlights the talent we have here at Cambridge United.
Pictured above are just some images from our action.
Naturally we have already been invited for more Academy fixtures and next time we could be visiting their new impressive state of the art training complex, once it opens this forthcoming summer, which will be great to play at. Manchester City Academy staff members were pleased with the games and congratulated us a club for the way we go about supporting young players.
Next weekend we will back in Manchester when our Under 12-14 Academy squads take to action and will be again supporting and promoting a weekend of good support in our pre match preparations.