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U18s making progress

PUBLISHED

07:49 10th October 2012

Dodds encouraged by youngsters

Assistant Academy manager David Dodds declared himself pleased with the way his players have performed so far this season.

Working alongside Academy manager Eamonn Dolan, Dodds predominantly focuses on the U18s - who have made a steady start to the season with four wins, two draws and just one defeat.

Their latest win came against Arsenal - a 3-0 win over the Gunners thanks to a hat-trick from top scorer Uche Ikpeazu.

"It was a good performance from everyone against Arsenal," a delighted Dodds said. "I don't like to single anyone out but Uche did magnificently well to score three goals.

"Every player put in a shift - the defence were outstanding. Shane Griffin had a superb game, and now he's off on international duty to represent Ireland."

"Our game plan was to deal with Arsenal playing their usual style of play through the middle of the park - and it worked."

It's always nice to win, of course, but Dodds stressed the importance of individual progression as the U18s aim to emulate the success of Academy products who have gone on to become Premier League players.

"The players are progressing nicely and we're very pleased with them so far," he added.

"We've had a solid start to the season but, to be honest, the most important thing is the individual development of the lads.

"There are so many great players who have come through the Academy to the first team, and they are of great inspiration to the young crop."

You can check out images from the 3-0 win over Arsenal by clicking here.

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