Managing Director Garry Plant gives an insight into Saturday's PDC trip to Sunderland.A very early start on a brisk October Saturday morning, off on our way to the magnificent Stadium of Light Training Centre, driving snow greets us on route to a real challenge against an Academy team that have only conceded 6 goals this term and scored 78.
Inside the warm and generous Sunderland complex we find a young Paul Thirwell framed in the hall of fame on the way to our palatial changing room.
The pitch is billiard table flat, a great surface to play on and from the first whistle Sunderland command the ball, players circulating to retain possession and probe every opportunity to attack. Town got behind the ball and tried to keep compact but on the 15th minute Sunderland struck with a decisive 1 touch move involving 4 players in the last third.
It was a pleasure to watch the young Mackems play their game, swift, controlled and clinical in front of goal.
By half time Town had conceded more goals than in any of their previous 3 matches.
A little re-organisation, chat from Coach Ryan and in to the final 40 minutes. The yellow and black settled and began to link play and gave Sunderland a little more to think about. It was still a tough challenge against an academy side that have swept aside both Manchester clubs and Everton this season.
A great experience for our young players and another step or 2 down the learning curve of our early Academy days.
There will be more fixtures announced in the near future for both Elite Development and the Academy PDC.
Big thank you to all the Sunderland people who made us feel very welcome and who were all keen to talk about what's happening at Harrogate Town football club.
Harrogate Town: Franklin Greenwood, Luke Plant, Ethan Simpson, Ben Green, Danny Wilson, Eliot Summers, Sam Wright Manzano, Lewis Kettlewell, Nathan Young, Tom Addley, Joe Payette, Harry Mills, Joe Sutcliffe