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Club News

Youth preview: Lincoln U19s v Stags U19s

3 August 2022

Club News

Youth preview: Lincoln U19s v Stags U19s

3 August 2022

Mansfield Town under-19s begin their 2022/23 Youth Alliance League season this Saturday in a fixture against Lincoln City at the Elite Performance Centre (11am kick-off).

The clash with the Imps could potentially see the inclusion of under-16 and under-15 players in an older age group, highlighting the impressive developmental work at RH Academy.

The season opener follows a rigorous pre-season schedule for the youngsters, including tough endurance and team-bonding exercises.

PDP lead coach Sam Collins says the squad have been put through their paces in order to prepare the young guns for the 2022/23 campaign.

“Pre-season has gone well. We’ve had to integrate ten new scholars into the group from last year which has been really good,” he said.

“We’ve done a lot of team bonding exercises, resilience based and all that sort of thing and then a general pre-season with a lot of physical work as well as the technical and tactical side of it.

“We’re really pleased with how it’s gone. More importantly than anything is that we don’t pick up any injuries and we’ve done really well with that.

“That proves that the programme that we’ve put in place has worked.

“The first day out that we had was to Berry Hill running track, we did some tough physical work.

“En route to the running track we dropped the players off next to the ground and the players had to make their own way to Berry Hill. They had to take all the equipment with them and that was [done to get] them working in little groups and they’ve got to communicate with each other.

“Then we went to Wollaton Park. We spent all day there and it was all about running.

“The last one that we had started at 6 o’clock in the morning.

“They had to go to Vicar Water County Park and they were running really early in the morning. Then we went back to the training ground and then they went to Your Space gym to do a spinning bike session before doing a football session at RH Academy and at 6pm they did a boxing session.

“We also had an initiation day where each player had to tell us something about themselves that no one else knew about. We tried to get them to be really honest and the staff had to also take part.

“The thought process behind it was that if we’re going to achieve anything this season then we need people to be open and honest and earn that trust from each other.

“On Monday, as a reward, we’re going to take them to the seaside to have an ice cream, fish and chips and kind of get away from that football environment and do something completely different.

“I could go through every player whether it’s football related, or resilience based – they’ve all excelled in different areas.”

The Academy’s aim of pushing through younger players into the under-19s’ games will continue next season.

“If we think that the younger ones are excelling, then they have to play,” Sam said.

“If we’re going to produce players that’s one of the big things that we’ve got in our minds and pushing through younger players as much as we can.

“There’ll be two or three under-15s and under-16s that will be potentially involved on Saturday.

“I know it’s good for players to win games and get into that mentality of not losing but the biggest thing in my mind is that I’m trying to get as many professional contracts out of our players that we can.

“I hope that some of them get the opportunity to play under-23 games like last year.

“I think we’ve got a couple that when the Papa Johns Trophy games come around, there’s a couple in my group that have got the ability to play.

“I’ll keep the names to myself for now.

“I understand it’ll be the gaffer’s [Nigel Clough’s] decision but I also have to think about different ways I can push them out of their comfort zone.”

The PDP lead coach added what he expects from Lincoln this Saturday in the under-19s’ opening Youth Alliance League fixture.

“It will be a really good footballing game,” he said.

“The games that we’ve played against them in the last couple of years have been that type in recent years.

“They’re similar to us with the way they want to try and play.”

Supporters can attend the fixture for FREE.

The venue for the contest is:

The Elite Performance Centre

Heath Lane



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