It has been a busy time across our Academy age groups with our U8/9s taking part in a tournament at The CNG Stadium and U12/13s taking on Pisley Academy. Coaches Becky Wilson and Lewis Riley describe how events unfolded.U8/9 Boys Academy Tournament
The CNG Stadium played host to the U8/9 academy tournament on Wednesday 19th February, with some of the best footballing academy teams in the country involved.
The competition saw the following teams compete with some exceptional talent on show throughout the day - Harrogate Town, Sheffield United, Bradford City, Grimsby, Barrow, Rotherham, COFE, North Duffield Dragons and Doncaster Rovers.
First up Town found themselves against a strong Grimsby side, who moved the ball with great ability. Town stood off for the first few minutes allowing Grimby to keep possession with ease, as the Town players grew into the game it started to open up for both teams. The game was end to end with both goalkeepers keeping their teams in it, with the final score 0-0.
The second game for Town was against an exceptional Sheffield United side who were very composed on the ball, but this didn't affect the Town players. Town were happy for the Sheffield players to have the ball, as when Town stole it they managed to create the better chances of the game, but these didn't come to anything as the final score finished 0-0.
Town had really started to play well by the time the third game came round against Rotherham. Town were the ones to have the majority of possession and this time it lead to great goal from the head of Freddie White. Town continued to push forward but couldn't find a second goal, with the game ending in a 1-0 win.
In the second round of fixtures Town were to face COFE, Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City. Town played a very good COFE team and found themselves a goal down early on through a great strike. This wasn't to stop town as some great build up play lead to some great chances, which the COFE keeper managed to keep out, resulting in Towns first loss of the day.
Town bounced back in their fifth game of the day against Doncaster Rovers with some of the best football of the day played. The Town defence was solid from the start, and it was never in doubt they would keep a clean sheet. As the game went on some great play from the keeper into defence and a through ball which was calmly finished by Henry Wardle allowed Town to win the game 1-0.
In Town's final game of the tournament they found themselves playing an outstanding Bradford City team, who took an early lead which they managed to hold onto. Town looked like they had run out of steam having held their own whilst playing great football throughout the tournament. The day was a great experience for all players involved with phenomenal football on show.
Town: Harry Ibbotson, Charlie King, Jacob Tiller, Bobby Haveron, Freddie White, Henry Wardle, Isaiah Prosper, Ted Smitherman, Freddie Pickering, Jonny Higgins, Sam Stalker, George Lamb and Archie Davy
By Becky Wilson
U8/9 PDC Coach
U12/13 Academy 7-1 Pisley Community Academy U13s
After the postponement of the Scunthorpe game the U12/13 Academy returned to 11vs11 football on Wednesday running out 7-1 winners against a well drilled physical, Pisley outfit.
In tough conditions both teams played some excellent football which was great to see for all parents and spectators of the game.
In my opinion this was our toughest test of the season so far and for the team to win 7-1 shows the levels and progression the lads have made this season.
Pisley started strong and attacked town right from the off, their direct approach over the back four was a problem and caught us out on numerous occasions, however, with time the lads snuffed this out and started to get on top of the game.
Pisley did take the lead however with a cross/ shot which eluded Town's keeper Harry Manterfield.
Harrogate didn't let this faze them though and the response was excellent, positive straight from the restart and dominance from then on, goals coming from Murray Brierley, George Meaking (2), Donnie Green, William Todd and Isaac Harris (2).
Another great performance from the Harrogate boys, to manage and watch the lads play at the moment is a pleasure. They really are playing some great football and working hard for each other. The adaptation to 11vs11 is getting better with each time they play.
Keep up the good work!!
Town: Harry Manterfield, Henry Straker, Isaac Harris, Joe Cook, Ollie Saltmarsh, Charlie Moss, William Todd, Andrew Todd, Charley Parker, George Meaking, Murray Brierley, Donnie Green, Asim Fiaz, Lewis Mcstay
U12/13's Lead Coach