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INTERVIEW: John Dempster Previews Under 18s Season

City's youngsters get their season underway this weekend...

16 September 2020

Sky Blues under-18's coach, John Dempster is ‘looking forward’ to the new season ahead of City's clash with Birmingham City at the Alan Higgs Centre this weekend.

The youngsters have been back in for the last few weeks, working on their fitness and playing pre-season friendlies ahead of the new campaign, something Dempster is excited to get back to.

"We’ve started with two weeks non-contact because of Covid-19 and now we’re into our sixth week back, so the boys have got a lot of work into them both physically, technically and tactically.” He said.

"They have all stepped to the plate at different times and everyone has impressed me.

“We're trying to get some consistency into their performances in training and games and the plan was to have a variety of matches throughout pre-season to prepare us for this weekend.

"We’ve come up against some Non-League sides, as well as other Academy’s and I think it has been a real variety and at times they have found it challenging.

“But they have embraced it and performed well, so, so far so good, and we're just really looking forward to the season starting."

Birmingham are first up for the Sky Blues and both the players and the staff are aware of the challenge which will face them come kick-off on Saturday morning.

"Just speaking to the more local players and members and staff, there is definitely a rivalry there and I'm sure Birmingham will be feeling the same about us, so I'm looking forward to a more pressurised game and it will be great to see how the boys react to it all. "

There have also been several new faces who have made the step up to the under 18's team and Dempster has been impressed with what he has seen.

"They’re really good characters and you can tell most of them have been in the system for a while because they're good technical players.

"We're trying to make them more streetwise because we're trying to get them to the next level, so it's important they learn the ugly side of the game because we’re preparing them for men's football now."

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