ACADEMY Manager Jeremy Newton files his last diary entry of the tour
Swindon Town Academy ended their tour of Holland, with their last set of games against Willem II. We selected two sides from the three squads to play against their 14s and 15s. We mixed the players from the 14/15s playing in the first game, with the 13/14s playing in the second game. We had a few injuries so I decided to give some players a rest.
The 14/15s went into their final game a little bit disappointed from their previous two games. Having suffered two defeats, it was important to end the tour with a high. We started off very brightly and got into a good passing rhythm. We kept possession really well and took the lead in the second half when a good run and cross from Alex Fenton was met by Tom Farrelly. Town should have scored again when Ollie Hunt had a chance but the ‘keeper denied him. Town conceded when good play from their striker punished us to level the scores. We had a late chance to win the game when Ollie Hunt went through, only for the keeper to make a good save.
The 13/14s made a quick start to their game when Scott Twine scored after 30 seconds. Twine then doubled his goal tally when he slammed home a rebound. Town went into the half time period 2-0 up and the coaches simply asked them for more of the same with a bit more care in the final third. Town scored their third when Twine completed his hat-trick with a good chip over the ‘keeper. Town then conceded a goal late on when their striker slotted home a rebound from the crossbar.
Under 13s coach Paul Harvey commented on the week saying: “It's been a fantastic learning experience that all the players would have benefited from. They faced different formations and the many challenges that come from this.”
Steve Hale took the 14s all week. He commented: “It's been a good insight for me: I have seen good performances throughout the week and was pleased with all the efforts that they have contributed.”
From my point of view, it has been a tough week for all the players and they have conducted themselves very professionally. It has been tough mentally and physically to cope with the demands that have been put on them throughout the week. It's an insight into what all the players can do. If they are selected, and have the opportunity to go to the Milk Cup, as some of them have already, they know how the week is and what is expected of them. There have been some very good individual performances from certain players and they will be briefed at the end of the journey back at The County Ground.
I would like to thank the following staff who have contributed their time and effort to ensure that the week has gone to plan and the whole trip was a success. Paul Harvey, Kevin Hall, Steve Hale, Barry Pocock, (Coaches) Mike Haines (Match Analyst) Kate Cady, Cat John (Sports Therapists) and Peter Kordula (Barnes Coaches).