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Youth Team and Academy

Youth Team Back In Pre-Season Training

6 July 2017

The Youth Team have been back in training for over a week, preparing for the start of their season which kicks off on Saturday 5th August.

The collection of new first year scholars join the now second years for a pre-season which includes five friendly matches.

Youth Team Manager Chris Brown is pleased with how his players have settled in to the pre-season schedule.

Speaking to iFollow, he said: "It's going alright, to be fair. The lads had a full week last week and they worked really hard. There's been double sessions – working in the gym, going to the boxing sessions – so they needed a well-deserved rest on Sunday.

"There's lots of good quality coming from the lads. They're a little bit tired today, but still working hard. It's still early days, a lot of the first years are trying to bed themselves in to full-time football in terms of training every day. The second years are used to it now, but the team is moulding together. There's lots of laughs knocking around, and I'm pleased with how it's gone."

Seven first year scholars have joined the Youth Team this summer, all of which have come through Dale's Academy. Whilst the first week has been tough for them, Brown says they are coping well with the demands: "They've done well. Last year, nearly all of them as under-16s played in the youth team due to the first team taking some of the second years, and a lot of injuries as well.

"It has stood them in good stead for this year. They've fitted in really well. It's just adapting to being in every day. A lot of them are coming in in the morning and looking weary and tired, but they're going to get used to it. It's the first week of real work, but it's been good. They know each other so it's not too bad."

Dale's Academy has been hugely successful in recent years, and the new first year scholars coming through from the Academy is a product of that hard work and success.

"We've wanted to do that for quite a number of years. The lads this year have shown the quality to be a professional. It's great that we've got the lads from the Academy because that's what we want to do – to get them from the Academy, to the youth team, to the first team, and if some of them gain a professional contract it's superb for the Academy and the club."

Academy midfielder Daniel Adshead will join the First Team on their pre-season trip to Tenerife, despite being just 15 years of age, highlighting the work of the Academy even further.

"It's brilliant. Last year he trained with the youth team and the first team quite a lot when he was off school in the holidays. It shows the work that the coaches in the Academy are doing, but also the faith Keith Hill and Chris Beech are showing in the young boys."

You can watch the full interview on iFollow.


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