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Interviews

ACADEMY: Chay Thompson Barnsley Under-18s Reaction

A point shared with top of the table…

15 November 2021

The Sky Blues Under-18s maintain their unbeaten streak in the league after securing a point against table-toppers Barnsley.

With an injury-struck squad, City went into the game with several Under-16 players, who made the step up for the big clash.

The game ended goalless, as City shared the points with Barnsley, but Under-18s Professional Development Phase Coach, Chay Thompson, spoke on his delight with the result.

“I’m proud of the players, they’ve had to overcome a lot of challenges and setbacks during the season, due to injuries, and to remain unbeaten so far this season is a credit to all the players.

“We had seven Under-16s in the squad, six of them started and they’ve all stepped up and done the Under-16s coach proud because of the way they’ve dealt with it.

“They all want to learn, they’re very coachable and the game was a perfect example of that, but they’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points.

“We got into good areas of the pitch, but in the final third we just lacked a little bit of quality, but we had some great passages of play and they’re all starting to buy into what we’re trying to do, which is pleasing.”

Thompson touched on the challenges that come with dealing with so many injuries, but sang the praises of those who weathered the battle.

“We’re down to the bare bones with injuries, concussions etcetera, so its literally can we get a team out week in week out at the moment and the Under-16s have stepped up, in different positions some of them, they’ve coped really well.

“They’ve had to overcome so many different challenges, different systems, different formations and it’s just to get out what we’ve got available in the best possible way.

“They’ve dealt with it really well, four or five of them were playing out of position and we played top of the league and we were the better side, it was disappointing not to get the three points, but it was really positive, they want to learn and that’s all we expect as coaches.”

As the Under-18s look forward to welcoming back several absentees, Thompson outlines the goals for the rest of the season and looks ahead to what his squad can achieve.

“We’ve got a lot of key players out, so we’re excited for them to come back around Christmas and then we can push on.

“To get to the middle of November and be unbeaten is a credit to the players and how far they’ve come this season, I’m adamant if we keep believing, we will change the draws into wins.

“The boys have set targets themselves, they want to get in the play-offs, in the top two, which I think we’re more than capable of doing, we’re in the PDL Cup and they want to get as far as they can, we’re one game away from getting out the group stage in that, and we want to get as far as we can in the FA Youth Cup.

“After Christmas, we’ve got out next block of games and we want to get ourselves in a position where we’re up the league table, fighting up there, into the next round of the PDL Cup and into the fourth round of the Youth Cup and those are the targets the players have set themselves.”


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