ACADEMY Manager, Jeremy Newton, continues his diary from the Netherlands.
The Academy returned the Netherlands for a second week with the Under-13-15s making the trip for with the focus again on the Four Corner Module. The age groups have been away during their time at the Academy many times and it just means that they are working more on the social side, rather than worrying about being away from home, and dealing with that aspect. The age groups have an exciting programme where they will be playing FC Utrecht, De Graafschap, Excelsior Rotterdam, Gravenzande and FC emmen - so, a busy week ahead for the players and staff.
This week we have four coaches, three physiotherapists, a sports scientist, a match analyst and a kit and equipment manager along with Peter, our driver, so the players will be looked after from all aspects. The coaches and myself will use all the data from the sports scientist to look at the players' data, as well as using our analyst to clips parts of the games to go through with individuals and team units. It gives the players more responsibility and ownership, as they can see the analyst to get their own clips from the games, receive support and guidance from the medical staff and work with the sports scientist about their bodies and lots more besides that. All this, is provided by the Academy to give them the opportunity to feel as professional as we can and this will hopefully reflect back in performances and results.
The Under-15s started their games programme with a trip to Doetinchem to play De Graafschap where they drew 2-2. The game started with the home side scoring after goalkeeper James Roberts struggled with a back pass and was caught out. The home side then doubled their lead with Jordan Young being caught in possession and being punished for the hosts to lead 2-0 at the break. I said to them that the performance and the basics were not good enough and we needed to change personnel to get something from the game. We then scored when Tyreke Johnson beat his defender to curl a fantastic shot into the corner from 25 yards. Swindon then grabbed another goal through striker Scott Twine when he stroked home from seven yards. We were guilty of not taking further chances when wrong decisions were being made in the final third. We dominated the second half and dominated possession, we pressed well and went close to winning the game but wasn't to be. With the Under-13s not playing until Tuesday, defenders Harry Dragg, and Sam Phelps got some game time in the 15s which was pleasing as they are two years younger. The Under-15s play Excelsior Rotterdam at their stadium tomorrow, while the Under-13s and Under-14s will also play at their training complex.
The Under-14s kicked-off their first game against FC Utrecht, putting in a fantastic performance and winning 4-1. Swindon took the lead through Jayden Mitchell-Lawson who ran through on goal. Swindon kept the ball well at times and went into the break 1-0 up. In the second half, Swindon doubled their lead through danger-man Jayden Mitchell-Lawson. Jayden then completed his hat-trick and then went and scored another to make it 4-0. Utrecht grabbed a late consolation goal but Swindon played very well and put in a good, team performance. Coach Andy Minturn said: "It was a very tough game. The players passed very well and defended as a unit and denied Utrecht the space to play. They were also disciplined out of possession."