*BS*Mike Sandmann provides his end of season report on the progress made in the past 12 months by the club’s Academy players, which has seen a young squad mature and develop quickly:*BF*
The Academy finished the season on a high Wednesday after beating Bromley 2-0 and it was the performance that was really pleasing for myself and Rob.
We were unbeaten in the last five games, which the players will be pleased about but for us the performances and development of the players is always our main focus. This development has been clearly evident in the progress that has been made from the start of the season to the end.
It’s been a tough season for the players, with a squad made up of mainly first years. They have had to learn quickly, competing against older and more physical opponents. The players have learnt to move the ball a lot quicker and to keep the ball for longer periods of the game, recognising when to change the tempo of the match.
They have all become a lot more confident in possession and are not afraid to express themselves in the final third, which has been particularly pleasing.
*Lpic1*We will keep together a large majority of our squad, as well as welcoming some new players into the Academy which I’m looking forward to working with next season. I am confident that the players will continue to learn and develop throughout next season.
Hopefully some of them will follow in the foot steps of Lloyd Harrington, Sean Raggett, Tom Axford and Dave Pilcher in gaining first-team experience. We were delighted to see Lloyd recognised by the supporters with an award for his performances this season.
A special mention to Alistair Wren, Joe Ellett, Luke Fewsdale, Corey Watts and Shannon Harris, who will be leaving the Academy this summer, having completed their second year with us.