Oldham Athletic U18’s put on a great performance to maintain their unbeaten pre-season so far as they beat local club Chadderton FC 2-0 on Saturday.
Marlin believes that the lads played some great football and handled the test that Chadderton FC gave them.
“It was a very pleasing and excellent performance, we missed chances but created lots of opportunities and played some really good attacking football.” He said.
“The lads were up against a good side and I’m very pleased with how the coped and handled the physically and the level of opposition.”
Pre-season has given the lads a chance to impress ahead of the new season and all nineteen players effected the game at the weekend.
Marlin believes the signs are positive that the squad is gelling nicely with 19 players all staking their own claim.
“We rotated the team about and left out some of the more experienced second years to make sure we get minutes across and also then to challenge the first years to step up to the challenge and who was going to be the leader in the group.” He commented.
“Certain key players weren’t starting, the first-half performance in particular was excellent and second-half we rotated around a little bit and it was a little bit disjointed but in the end we finished strong.
“It was very pleasing that all nineteen players effected the game in a positive way and playing against men is only going to help them and they’re adapting like a Dog to water.”
Pre-season is a chance to set the stall out for the season which the Youth Team have managed to do so far.
Game by game there have been improvements and Marlin is pleased with how they’re all progressing in both training and matches.
“There is still a long to go but there’s a lot of really positive signs, their ability to take on information has been really pleasing, how we are attacking teams and creating chances and the movement off the ball.
“It’s only been three weeks of full training and to have shown that level of understanding so quickly is really pleasing, it’s very exciting to see where we could be at in six months especially when you consider that half of the group only just coming into full-time training and full-time football.
“If we manage their bodies over the next six months, the positions they could be in could be really positive and with a new academy manager just started this weekend, I think he’s going to come in and be really optimistic us getting players through to the first team which is our job.”
New academy manager Paul Murray is relatively early into his new role, but Marlin says after a chat with him, he was delighted with the performance shown on Saturday.
“He was impressed, he gave us some feedback on things that he’s seen which was great.
“It’s good that we’re seeing the game the same way as well, which is important, and the boys have made a good first impression on him.
“He has watched the games previously but the first game he’s watched them live they’ve made a good first impression.”
The Youth Team travel to Stafford Rangers tomorrow night and Marlin says that their opponents will offer yet another tough test.
“The way that we plan out the pre-season it was going to get more difficult each time with the level of men’s teams and the level of opposition, so Tuesday night we’ll rotate the group again and expect another very tough test.
“Win, lose or draw the boys are going to learn from it and we’re looking forward to the test.”
More encouraging news for the academy lads is that Head Coach Laurent Banide is keen to promote some youngsters into his first team.
Banide has been keen to rotate the academy lads who come into training and Marlin is happy to see that interest from the new Head Coach.
“This week have been very good we’ve had four of them training with the first team and the Head Coach has been very pleased by them.
“That’s a positive first impression from the lads, especially in front of the person who is trying to get them involved in the first team.”
Here's another reminder of the Youth Team's pre-season schedule during July for those who wish to show their support:
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