Mansfield Town under-19s are back in action this Saturday for a Youth Alliance League fixture against Huddersfield Town at RH Academy (11am kick-off).
The young Stags will head into the contest in good spirits following last weekend's friendly win against local rivals Chesterfield. The amber and blue emerged as 3-1 winners thanks to goals from McKeal Abdullah, Finn Flanagan and Oli Wilson.
This weekend's visitors, Huddersfield, lost 5-2 against Peterborough United in their previous fixture in the Development League Cup.
Ahead of the visit of Huddersfield, PDP lead coach Sam Collins spoke to www.mansfieldtown.net and said: “[Huddersfield are a team with] talented players.
“[They are an] expansive team when in possession.
“We need to be positive when attacking if they leave space.
“We have a gameplan and the challenge is to implement it [on Saturday].”
Ahead of the clash with the Terriers, Sam gave us an insight into training this week.
“We’ve worked on things relating to play in the final third," said Sam.
“Against Crewe [in the FA Youth Cup] and Chesterfield [in last weekend’s friendly] we could’ve scored more goals.
“We’ve worked on converting more chances as well as working on crossing from wide areas and players timing their runs into the box correctly.”
Striker McKeal Abdullah has been in fine form lately, scoring at Mornflake Stadium against the Railwaymen and in last weekend’s friendly against Chesterfield.
“He’s scored a few goals recently and is playing well," said Sam.
Midfielder Alfie King is set to return to training on Monday after a two-month spell on the sidelines with a broken finger.
Speaking about Alfie, Sam said: “A first-team player would probably get it strapped up and continue to play but you can’t take these risks with younger players.
“He’s had an operation to fix the issue and we’re looking forward to him returning to training.”
Cormac Maher, the 15-year-old defender, will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game after picking up a tight hamstring in last night’s under-17s fixture.
“We’re hoping he’ll be fit for Saturday," said Sam.
Oli Wilson joined Carlton Town on Tuesday on a month-long work experience loan.
“It will be great for him to experience men’s football," said Sam.
“There will be a bigger emphasis on getting a result on a Saturday [at Carlton] rather than the development of players that we focus on more here at Mansfield.
“We’re hoping he gets a lot of game time because he hasn't been starting for us recently.”
Sam was asked if he was planning on anymore players going out on a work experience loan. “The second year players [might go out on loan], maybe around the Christmas period when our schedule slows down.
“We’re definitely looking to get them all out on a work experience loan to give them the experience that’ll help them develop as players.”
As ever, all supporters are welcome to attend the game for free at the following venue: RH Academy, Woburn Lane, Mansfield, NG19 7RT.