The Under-18s are gearing up towards their final week of pre-season as they look to defend their Youth Alliance League title.
Town’s young Cods did the Club proud last season when they came away with the league, clinching the title after an away win over Shrewsbury Town one game from the end. In that game, Cian Hayes found the back of the net from 40-yards – which was up for goal of the season.
The new set of scholars have completed four weeks of pre-season so far, facing a number of challenges both on and off the field.
An opening game against Preston North End was followed with three competitive fixtures against local non-league opposition in Clitheroe, Hyde United, and Padiham, before playing Category 2 outfit Wigan Athletic yesterday.
Under-18s Lead Coach Simon Wiles has been really pleased with how his new group of players have performed so far:
“I’m really happy at the challenges the players have already been exposed to this pre-season, the players have had plenty of crossover with the Under-23s group and have had ample opportunities to impress not only me but Stephen Crainey as well, and some have really risen to the challenge.
“The new boys seem to have settled in well and led by the second years, have applied themselves well and will no doubt learn from the experiences heading into a new season.”
The new cohort of Under-18s have been complimented by the signing of Will Johnson, a 16-year-old centre half signed from the North-East, who has signed a two-year scholarship with the Club.
“Will returned on trial pre-season, after impressing in two games at the back end of last season. His attitude and approach is first class and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
The Under-18s finish the pre-season schedule with a game vs U18s side Everton on Tuesday before the season opener vs Walsall on Saturday 7th August at 12pm.
It will be the first-time spectators will be allowed to watch and Wiles is encouraging the Fleetwood faithful to come and watch his budding youngsters.
“It’s great for the players to have a crowd watching at games. Our parents always make a real effort in attending games, but it would be great to get some of the Fleetwood fans to come and watch the Under-18s and get familiar with some of our younger players.”