Under-18 manager on the international breakDespite the international weekend breaking up the Under-18 Premier League season, Royals U18 Manager David Dodds has plenty up his sleeve for his young charges over the blank weekend.
The Royals’ Academy side currently sit second, only behind Arsenal, in the southern section of the league… their most recent outing was a 7-4 win at Brighton last weekend.
While the execution of some of the attacking play in Sussex was excellent, he hopes to work with the team on getting the right decisions at the right times to tighten up a bit defensively. And they’ll also be passing on what they know to some more junior members of the club as well…
“We haven’t got a game on Saturday – so we’re going to be working very hard in the next two weeks to try and get that balance right, between pressing the ball and not committing ourselves at the wrong time,” said Dodds.
“We’re also due to have a little in-house game against the Under-23s as well, so that might be a chance to out some of those things into action.
“And the second-year lads are doing some FA coaching this week – they’re learning how to pass on what they know. I’m going to give them some naughty little lads to coach and see how they cope with that!”
Some of the players from the U18 group are busy in competitive fixtures though – 17-year-old pair Tom McIntyre and Tyler Frost have been featuring for the Under-23s including a win last weekend in Birmingham, and midfielder Frost scored the winning penalty at Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy group game in midweek.
And first-year scholar Danny Loader, 16, has been away in Croatia representing England for in a successful Under-17 friendly tournament.
“We’ve got Tyler Frost and Tom McIntyre both doing well for the Under-23s – they both scored last week against Birmingham and did well in Portsmouth, and they are regulars in that team,” Dodds continued.
“And Danny Loader has been away with England’s Under-17s and scored a couple – so he’s doing fantastically as well.
“That’s three of our brighter players from our team that are doing well at another level. And the boys that are stepping in for them in our Under-18s are also doing well.
“So it’s all okay at the moment – the progression and integration between the Under-23s and the Under-18s – as well as the Under-18s and the Under-16s – is really good. That’s how it should be.”