Barnet FC’s new Academy Manager Henry Newman is pleased to have got the new season underway, and is aiming to have a big impact on the fortunes of not only the Youth Team but the first team as well during the months ahead.
The U18s began their new campaign on Saturday with a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Leyton Orient, and although Newman was pleased with the result he knows that the team can get even better as they look to lay down a marker for the season ahead:
“We put in a good performance against Orient who are a strong side with a majority of second years in their team, and they finished strongly in the league last year.
“We were pleased to get a draw but we were 2-0 up and missed a penalty, had numerous chances during the second half and hit the crossbar in the last minute so ultimately it was a game that we actually should have won.”
Newman returned to Barnet this summer as Academy Manager having previously worked as Assistant U18s Coach between 2009 and 2011, and has already set about creating a new structure that is designed to help the next generation of Barnet stars flourish:
“We are trying to find as well-rounded approach as possible in terms of the Youth Team so that we are not leaving any stone unturned. We have Kostas Lofitis doing two strength and conditioning sessions with them every week, and we have a new match analyst in Elliot Yandzio doing two sessions with the guys each week.
“Ian Guyah-Low, who has a good reputation as a performance coach working on team building and the mental side of the game, is also coming in and he’s done lots of work with jockeys and players in the Olympic Games. So we’ve got a group of six or seven people working with the Youth Team now to give them the best opportunity to succeed on the pitch.”
Newman hopes that such attention to detail will not only help improve the performances of the youth categories, but also help have an effect on the fortunes of the first team by producing as many players as possible that are capable of making the step up:
“I think that everybody is aware that we are probably a little bit disappointed in terms of how the U18s have done in the last couple of years both in relation to their performance in the league and also the number of players that have managed to go up to the first team. That is one of the big things that I am focusing on, in trying to get these players over the line.
“We’re hoping it will be an exciting year and it’s something that we’re taking very seriously. We are keeping everybody’s feet on the ground. It would be a big jump, going from second or third bottom to suddenly looking to win the league but we are setting our standards high and saying that we expect it to be a better season in terms of both performances in the league and player progression into the first team.”
Four Youth Team players have already been called up by Martin Allen for Barnet’s pre-season friendly against Luton Town, and Newman is optimistic that many more will be able to follow in their footsteps in the future:
“We’ve already had four players do that which is pleasing and gives us something to build on. The gaffer has been great in that respect and we often have players training with the first team.
“If he gets injuries he has got the loan market, but I also want him to be able to look down to us and think that there are players there that are able to step up and fill the boots of some of the first team players if and when needed.”
To watch Henry Newman’s interview in full, simply watch the video below: