With seven wins on the trot, the Academy are once again on rich rein of form and continuing to develop as individuals - much to the delight of Academy managers Eamonn Dolan
and David Dodds.The under-18s' latest win
came on Wednesday afternoon over Southampton, thanks to an Uche Ikpeazu's double - his 27th and 28th of a marvellous campaign.
"It was an interesting game - this time of the year the pitches are a bit hard after a tough winter," said Dolan after the game.
"But the boys found a way to win. They've developed well and tried to play good football, and I thought there were some real stand out performances - the two centre backs, the goalkeeper and Uche up front who has had a great season
"Development is a long journey and a lot of the boys are doing well. I'm excited because the new manager, who was here watching, is particularly keen and wants young players to progress."
It was particularly pleasing to Dodds that the youngsters were able to dig in and win ugly against the Saints - which puts them in a great position to finish in the top three and reach the Final Stage finals.
"At Bolton we played some great football from the back, through the middle and down the sides - it was lovely to watch. But I think it's important for the lads to know how to win a game ugly - and having the realisation that sometimes you can't play out perfectly, and you've got to change your game plan.
"We controlled the first half but in the second half, Southampton were chasing the game after we got the second game - and we had to lock the game out.
"We set our stall out to try and get into the Elite Finals, to be one the best four teams in the country, and we're not far away from reaching them."