Rooney has already taken U18s to the Lake DistrictFleetwood Town’s youth team manager Nathan Rooney recently gave an update on how his young scholars are getting on with their pre-season preparations, prior to the start of the North West Youth Alliance League in August.
Now in his second summer overseeing the fortunes of the Cod Army’s youngsters, Rooney provided insight into how his current crop of players have adapted to this pre-season schedule, both at Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex in Thornton, and externally – with Rooney having took his side for a bonding week in the Lake District.
In an interview with FTFC’s official club website, Rooney, who guided his side to a positive season last term, said: “We are in our fourth week now, it has been really positive, we have had nice planning and preparation. We decided to take to U18s up to the Lake District last week, there is a real good vibe around the place, and it has been kept strong over the past few weeks.
“The difference has been that it has been more of a mental pre-season, we’ve been up in the mountains in the Lake District putting the lads out of their comfort zone by caving in the waterfalls and abseiling. That has been the thought process, rather than do a football pre-season, we wanted to test the boys mentally.
“I think consistency comes through structure and planning. We know what we are setting out in our principles of play, and we have encouraged that in all of our areas of work, a lot of the pre-season work this year has been small sided games.
“With the new batch of players coming in for every single squad, they have had to buy in, but before they came through the door, every single player knew exactly what programme and Club they were coming to, so it has been positive, not just for the U18s, but the whole Club.
Rooney said that he has high hopes for the youth team for the forthcoming season, and hopes the Club can forge a closer bond with their development squad counterparts.
Rooney continued: “The hopes are that the U18s can produce a closer, tight-knit group from the U16s to the U21 development squad, the plan is to try and get the development squad into a position in which they can hold their own in an elite group.
“For the U18s, I think it is the strongest group we have had, mentally, in regards to great attitudes, knuckling down, and understanding what it is all about.