The Barnet FC Youth Team begin their 2014/15 season on Saturday morning with their first game taking place at The Hive against Leyton Orient, starting at 11:00.
And having enjoyed such a successful pre-season campaign, Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Ross Eames cannot wait to get underway:
“It has been very productive. The progression from the boys, the attitude, and the spirit of the team so far during the last five weeks has been absolutely fantastic. It’s been brilliant. We can’t wait to start the season and are really looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
Having taken on the new role alongside new Academy Manager Henry Newman this summer, Eames is pleased to see that their methods are starting to pay off having seen the side score 21 goals in their last three friendlies:
“I’ve enjoyed watching the progression of the team. They started off slowly in their first game but they are starting to get a killer instinct in the team now.
“All we’ve been trying to get through to them is that we just want the ball in the back of the net. It doesn’t matter what the finish is like, the ball has just got to hit the back of the net.”
The Academy have already seen four players make their first team debuts during this pre-season against Luton Town with a fifth taking a place on the bench for the following game against Brentford, and Eames admits that it is rewarding to see so many of Barnet’s young players making the step up:
“We create the environment for players to become professional footballers, but it is down to them. They are going to need discipline, there are going to be some hard times as players through the season but we are there to help them and we’ll support them all the way and make sure that it is a good season on and off the pitch.”
“I am delighted and full credit to the gaffer as well. He has kept a close eye on the boys and asks how they are doing after every game. There is a good communication between the first team and the Academy this year and it is nice to see that those players that go up to him are doing very, very well.”
One of those players to make the step up is central defender Joe Gater, who believes that recent results prove what a big effect that the new coaching staff have had on the Youth Team:
“I’ve worked with Henry previously a couple of years ago and he hasn’t changed. He’s a very good coach who gets his point across and we can feel on the pitch that those ideas are working.
“We got the ideas that he and Ross want to apply straight away and then applied them in the games and that has shown in the wins that we’ve got. The team are very confident. We’ve got a good bond together and that has obviously shown during pre-season on the pitch.”
And having had his first taste of first team action, Gater admits that it is reassuring to know that the opportunities are there for Barnet’s younger players:
“We found out on the Saturday before the Sunday game so we didn’t have a lot of time to think about it but I think we all showed what we are about during the time that we were on. Martin sat us down and said that we’ll be used so there are chances here if we perform on the pitch.”
Harry Taylor was another play to feature against Luton, but is now looking forward to taking to the field with his regular teammates once more on Saturday:
“We’ve progressed since the start of pre-season after getting used to the new formation and also emptying and filling spaces in midfield and both defending and attacking as a team to ensure that we concede less and score more.
“It’s going to be good to get back underway. If we get a win and put in a good performance then it carries the momentum onto the next game.”
Barnet fans can watch the next generation of Bees stars as they begin their new season, free of charge at 11:00 on Pitch A at The Hive ahead of the first team’s final pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers.
Watch our interview with Ross Eames here: