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Club News

Rhodes On Youth Team Progress

13 March 2024

Club News

Rhodes On Youth Team Progress

13 March 2024

First-year scholar Lewis Rhodes is pleased with the progress he’s made during his first campaign with the Latics youth team, and wants to take that momentum into his second.

The left back joined the club as an U15, and was offered a spot in the youth team last summer, after impressing at U16 level.

From grassroots to youth team in just a few years, it’s been a real journey for Lewis.

“I started off by playing grassroots football like most people really," he said.

“Playing with my mates for my local team, just enjoying it all.

“I then joined a development centre with Reece Brown, who used to play for Oldham about ten years ago and is the brother of Wes who used to play for Manchester United.

“I did that up until under 15s, where I got into the academy at Oldham.

“I didn’t spend long there, as I joined the under 15s quite late, and from there I kicked on, did really well, and got offered a place in the youth team for this season.

“When I found out I’d been accepted I was over the moon, I’d worked really hard to move from grassroots, to Oldham, so to get offered a place was fantastic.”

After a number of defeats at the start of the campaign, Latics found themselves bottom of the EFL Youth Alliance, but an upturn in results, including five wins in a row soon lifted them off the foot of the table, leaving them in tenth with seven games to go.

With Blackpool, Rochdale, Shrewsbury and Carlisle all within a few points of the young Latics, a good end to the season could see them finish as high as sixth.

“I’ve really enjoyed life in the youth team this season.

“I am approaching the end of my first full campaign which I think has gone really well for me.

“Getting lots of minutes under my belt, starting most games, has been brilliant, it shows how much faith the management have in me and I can’t thank them enough.

“It wasn’t the easiest of things at the start of the season, results were not going our way in terms of results.

“That wasn’t a nice feeling, no footballer wants to be in a losing team.

“Things soon changed though, we changed formation to fit a style and way of playing that complimented the players we have.

“Since then we’ve not looked back, have gone on some really good winning runs, which have taken us up the table.

“The dressing room after we win is just buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement, it’s completely different to what it was like at the start.

“I think it’s really helped me progress too, I’m playing a lot better than I was, and I think it’s fair to say most of the lads are too, that’s what a positive and winning mentality does.”

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