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Under 18s open season with Walsall draw

Reaction from coach Simon Wiles after opening day point

7 August 2018

Fleetwood Town's Under 18s began their season on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Walsall at Poolfoot Farm.

Shayden Morris got the first goal of the new season after 16 minutes, finishing well when clear on goal, before Walsall equalised later on in the first half.

The second half saw Town dominate, but they didn't do enough to convert the chances that fell their way. 

Coach Simon Wiles spoke following the match, and was pleased from what he saw on the opening day from his side.

"I must say we are delighted with how the game went," said Wiles.

"I thought the lads played well against a team like Walsall, who are always up there in the Youth Alliance League. We matched them in all departments and probably should have nicked it with the chances that we had in the second half.

"It just goes to show how far the academy has come, and that our players can hold their own against this type of side.

"Overall, we are happy and it gives us great scope moving forward."

With new signing Morris getting on the scoresheet, after impressing in pre-season against Workington and Ramsbottom, Wiles was very pleased with his all round game and knows there's still much more to come from the youngster.

"Shaydan has been a breath of fresh air since he has come into the academy. He is a player who wants to learn every day when he comes into training.

"The way he took his goal after a big touch to beat the defenders was fantastic, and when he got into a goal scoring position, he managed to keep his composure when a number of defenders came to close him down.

"He has the ability to beat players with skill and pace in his locker, and it's important from our side that we keep getting him into those positions on the pitch.

"It's very pleasing for him and for the rest of the season."

The academy staff saw seven graduates feature in the first team's final pre-season match against Chorley last week and it is a moment that the players, and the coaching staff will not forget for a long time.

Wiles said: "It was an incredibly proud moment for myself and the coaching staff. The lads, when they got the call up couldn't believe that they were down there. It was an amazing experience.

"We told them that they might go down there and get some minutes that they might not or they will be on the bench, and for players like Ryan Rydel to play majority of the second half, with young Dylan Boyle and James Hill coming on with 20 minutes to go.

"It was great to see them play well and show that enthusiasm that they have when playing for us."


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