Ross Eames spoke to the club’s official website this week to reflect on the progress of the Barnet FC Youth Team, and said that he believes that ‘it is all coming together nicely.’
Following a dramatic 5-4 win over MK Dons on Saturday the U18s are currently six points clear at the top of their Football League Youth Alliance Division, and are progressing nicely in both the FA Youth Cup which continues this evening and the League Cup.
Commenting on this weekend’s remarkable victory over the Dons, Eames said:
“It was a rollercoaster game where both teams kept scoring left, right and centre. Looking at it in perspective we scored five brilliant team goals and everybody put a shift in.
“The interplay and the combinations that we have been practising in training – the one-twos and the overlaps – are really starting to come out in our game now.
“Defensively we have to tighten up. You can’t develop if you are conceding four goals per game but that is something that myself and Henry [Newman] will work on with the team.
“The twelve weeks of our syllabus have all been about attacking play and how we play in the final third. Our movement, third man runs, off the ball – all of these areas that we work on are really starting to highlight in games.
“The high scores from our point of view are really coming on well and we are really, really pleased with them.”
Mathew Stevens scored a 94th minute winner to secure victory on Saturday following Elliott Harris’ stoppage-time equaliser against Southend in their previous game, and Eames believes that such determination says a lot for the character and maturity of his team:
“That is testament to the players. The mindset and the way that they go about their business when they are in the training ground is absolutely fantastic. They work hard for each other.
“We sat down in the summer and we wanted to build a winning mentality in the group, and it is really evident now. I said to Henry after the game on Saturday that they have a ‘never say die’ attitude now.
“To me, it is reminiscent of Manchester United and how they keep playing until the final whistle goes. It has been superb. It is nice to walk off with a win but we are looking at the performance all of the time and it is really coming together now.
“They set themselves some targets for the season and we gave them our realistic targets as coaches. You could say that we are exceeding them at the moment, but I think it really shows that what they have done during the last 12 to 13 weeks is because of them, not us.
“There is a real good group atmosphere now, there is a real bond. There are a lot of players and everyone wants to be on the pitch or even on the bench but they all deal with it in the right way and that is a real testament to them.”
Attention now switches to the FA Youth Cup, with Barnet taking on FC Clacton in the second qualifying round under floodlights on the first team pitch at The Hive in what promises to be a special occasion for the next generation of Barnet stars:
“It is going to be great for the players. They all aspire to be on that pitch. They watch the first team every Saturday and this is their chance to grace it.
“For myself, it will be great to take a game on the first team pitch. It will be a beautiful surface to play on. But as we know, the beauty of the FA Cup means that we can’t go in with any soft approach.
“We are looking at it as another day at the office, another game, and to go about our business the right way – to play our philosophy and our style of football and if we get through, well then that’s brilliant.”
A reminder that the game kicks off at 19:30, with free entry for Barnet FC members and tickets priced at just £2 for adults and £1 for concessions, so come on down and watch the young Bees in action!