An Oldham Athletic XI made up of trialists and the Youth Team beat Glossop North End 4-1 last night in an impressive display.
Youth Development Phase Craig Large took charge of the game and he was particularly pleased with the way the Youth Team players played.
“Overall it was good, it was a mixture of Youth Team and trialists in the first half and then it was mainly the Youth Team in the second half.” He said.
“Overall probably you would say that the first half was the better in terms of how we controlled the ball and dominated possession, but in the second half team they showed a good attitude in terms of playing against men.
“The physical presence which is something they’re not going to be used to, which is one of the reasons we decided to go for a tough pre-season in the teams we chosen to play against.”
The friendlies have shown steady improvements in each game for the Youth Team and Large was keen to praise the lads as a whole and individually.
“I’ve spoken to the boys this morning and I said I can’t wait to be there when everything sort of clicks with them.” He commented.
“I thought first half we had Andy Hackett who did well, that was one of the more mature performances we’ve seen from him being a second year it’s good to see.
“Second half, Jack Williams played well who people probably know about if they followed the Youth Team last year as well.
“Another bit of praise for another first year Ben Hough, who played centre midfield and got on the ball and looked to make things happen it was good.
“Overall, the boys can be happy with how they played.”
Assistant Head Coach Bouziane Benaraibi was present at the game and Large says the academy department have had conversations with both him and Head Coach Laurent Banide.
“Speaking to both the Head Coach and the Assistant Head Coach, just before the pre-season started, he spoke highly of what they want to do getting academy players involved.
“It was good that they’ve actually come, and they’ve seen the boys live.
“Hopefully we will be getting more and more maybe training with the first team and getting that opportunity to impress in front of pros as well.”
Next up for the Youth Team is a friendly with local club Chadderton on Saturday (12pm kick off).
Large is hoping fans can make it a double header ahead of the first-team game with Rochdale in the afternoon.
“Get down to Chadderton to support if you can, it’s a good local club, good people and this year their Manager has been building a good young team.
“It’ll be good to expose everybody to playing in front of big crowds and we got the first team at home against Rochdale, so it’ll definitely be a good day of football.”
Here's another reminder of the Youth Team's pre-season schedule during July for those who wish to show their support:
Saturday 20 July (12pm KO) – Away
vs. Chadderton FC
Tuesday 23 July (7:30pm KO) – Away
vs. Stafford Rangers
Saturday 27 July (1pm KO) – Away
vs. Winsford United
Tuesday 30 July (12:30pm KO) – Away
vs. FC Halifax Town U18's