Under-18s to Train Alongside First-Team as Club Works to Improve Prospects' Pathway Under-18s to Train Alongside First-Team as Club Works to Improve Prospects' Pathway
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Posted by: Bescot Banter •

Under-18s to Train Alongside First-Team as Club Works to Improve Prospects' Pathway

Walsall's Academy Manager has looked ahead to the Under-18s return to pre-season training.
Bescot Banter - Walsall FC NewsWalsall Academy manager Rob Williams has spoken ahead of the Under-18s return to training and confirmed the youngsters will train alongside the first-team throughout the season.

The Under-18s pre-season begins on Thursday and will see preparations for the 2023/24 season get underway as they look to build fitness ahead of the new EFL Alliance campaign.

Williams, who returned to the club in March last year, is looking forward to getting back to work and sought to outline what the early weeks of pre-season will look like for the Academy players.

Speaking via the club's official website, Rob said; "The boys return on Thursday, 29th June.

"That will be a testing day to check where they are at based on where they were at the end of last season and we’ll get an idea of how much of their post-season programme they’ve done or not done and what condition they’re in.

"The afternoon of that day will be the admin and planning ahead for the season. They’ll be back training properly from the Friday morning.

"The big one for us this season is that we’ll train alongside the first team.

"That’s been one of the challenges in the fifteen months since I’ve been back is getting that embedded into day-to-day, week-to-week practice but having spoken to Mat Sadler over the course of the last few weeks, we’ll train at exactly the same time as the first team and above all, that enables that pathway between Under 18s and the first team to be more fluid, more efficient and provide a better opportunity for our players so that’s the biggest change."

Previously holding the role of Head of Coaching in WS1 from 2017 until 2019, before returning to the club in the wake of Miguel Llera's departure, Rob also spent two-and-a-half years as Head of Academy Coach Development at Shrewsbury Town.
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