Barnsley U23s host Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon looking to build on their South Yorkshire derby victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
The young Reds ran out 3-0 winners at Stocksbridge Park Steels on Monday afternoon courtesy of goals from Sam Fielding, Luke Thomas and Patrick Schmidt.
As well as being fluid in attack, Martin Devaney’s side were resolute defensively and one player crucial to that factor was Rudi Pache, who put in a commanding display at the heart of defence.
“I thought it was a good 3-0 win; we had some good, experienced players with us as well, so that helped us,”said Pache. “Our performance, overall, was decent – we were a bit shaky in the first ten minutes, but we grew into it and played really well.
“Having the first team players helps us because we were able to look up to them – we want to be able to play at that level, so it was really good to play with them.”
At just 17-year-old, Pache has been thrust into U23s action this campaign – featuring five times for Devaney so far, in addition to his three appearances at U18 level.
He has adapted well to the older age category with some accomplished performances, particularly against the Owls where he dominated aerially and was calm in possession.
“Playing at a higher level is more physical and I feel as though I’m doing OK – I don’t feel out of place, so I’m really enjoying it,” continued the youngster. “It’s quicker than under 18s, but that’s the step up. I need to maintain it and keep working hard in the gym so I can continue that level with the under 23s.”
Crewe come into this fixture sitting second in the Professional Development League table, but Barnsley can close the gap to one point with victory at the Oakwell Training Ground.
Like the Reds, Alex have found the net 22 times this season, so this has the potential to be an encounter that provides us with plenty of goals.
“We’re heading into the game looking to win, nothing more than that,” insisted Pache. “We want to keep playing well, so if we move it fast and stick to our press then, hopefully, we can pick up a positive result.
“The lads are confident heading into the game – even those who didn’t play against Sheffield Wednesday. Everyone is up for it.”
You can watch our U23s for FREE at the Oakwell Training Ground, kick-off at 2pm.
Alternatively, you can follow updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.
Any supporters wishing to attend this game are politely reminded not to park on Grove Street, but to park in the CK Beckett South Stand car park.