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15 October 2018

Academy Manager Tom Pell updates on the events of the last month and the upcoming fixtures for the U's Academy.

I would like to start by informing every one of our latest Academy Stadium Game coming up in the next few weeks.

The fixture is against Manchester United on Wednesday 24th October, 6pm at the Abbey Stadium.

Some of you may have attended one or more of our Stadium games previously and the support you have given the lads has been first class and adds so much value to these games, you wouldn't believe.

A lot of the boys playing in the game will have spent more than half their life wearing Amber and Black and the support you give them on nights like this one coming up, really does mean a lot to them and also the Academy as a whole.

To play at the Abbey, under the lights, with a big crowd at home to one of the biggest clubs in world football – it doesn't get much better than that for a 14/15 year old from Cambridgeshire!

Should you want to come and support the lads please head to to purchase your tickets. They are a very reasonably priced, £5 an adult and £1 a child. I can't promise you anything other than value for money – the lads will work their socks off for the badge and you really could help get that little more out of the boy's performance.

Since my last programme article, the U18's have played a large number of games - results and performances have been mixed as you often get with young players. We have been pleased with the boy's application throughout this period excluding our league fixture vs Barnet FC where we let our standards slip.

As we work through our blocks, we have changed the formation that the group are playing and challenging them to perform different things both tactically and technically whilst physically and psychologically remaining with the same high standards.

Our defeat to Southend was disappointing as was our performance against Barnet in the league and in the EFL Youth Alliance League Cup, although we did progress after winning on penalties. These games have been sandwiched between victories against Leyton Orient, MK Dons & our best performance of the season vs Stevenage which somehow we lost 1-2.

The next couple of weeks, sees some tough tests for the Scholars as we are away to Luton Town in the league followed by a short trip to Stevenage to play in the Quarter Final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup, as well as the eagerly anticipated FA Youth Cup draw.

Our schoolboy program is as busy as ever. We are now in full flow with our EFL South East Youth Alliance fixture program as well as our cross category fixture program that we organise ourselves to ensure we have a really varied fixture program for our players.

To give you an idea of how we would create a varied games program, to ensure the boys have as many possible challenges from week to week – one week our U15 squad played an U16 Soccer Academy on the Saturday, Arsenal's U15's on the Thursday night and then Peterborough's U16's on the Saturday.

This is what a week can look like for a lot of our age groups to ensure appropriate challenges are set, worked towards and reflected upon.

Where possible, we try and ensure we get the balance right for the boys to challenge them appropriately and give them a wide variety of fixtures to enjoy being tested in.

I really hope to see as many of you as possible at the Abbey on the 24th October.

Up the U's!

Tom Pell
Academy Manager

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