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23 April 2022

Ahead of our U18s Professional Development League clash with Ipswich Town on Saturday morning, Tom Harban emphasised the importance that a win would have on his side realising their ambitions this campaign.

Victory in Suffolk would go a long way to confirming our place in the end of season play-offs, with the young Reds currently in second place, with the top two qualifying.

Our U18s have recently returned from a training camp in Italy, in which they played three games against older opposition in hot conditions. The experience was a positive one for our lads, according to Harban.

“It was a good trip,” discussed our U18s boss. “We took the young lads as well who are starting to get involved in the under 18s. We’ve managed to get a couple of lads back on the pitch that have been injured before we went out, so overall it was a good trip going into the Ipswich game.”

The Tractor Boys currently lie third in their respective Southern PDL division, and will provide a stern test for Barnsley, according to our boss.

“It will be a tough game,” he affirmed. “Ipswich have always been a good academy, they’ve got good players, they’ve got a good pedigree. We’re going to have to be on the top of our game to come away with anything in terms of a positive result.”

Pressing and high energy is one of the pillars of how our U18s side plays, proving to be effective so far in this campaign, and it’s these fundamentals the young Reds need to implement in order to enhance our chances of a successful result on Saturday.

“It’s pretty much what they’ve been doing for the last three or four weeks in the league,” said Harban. “Running, doing the basics, creating chances, but just giving it their all. When they’ve done that, more often than not this season they’ve come out with positive performances and results.”

Our U18s have won three on the bounce in the league, but how much impact would making it four mean to Harban and his team?

“It’s another step taken towards getting into the play-offs at the end of the season,” he asserted. “If we can get a win, we put pressure on the teams that have got a game in hand on us and that’s all we can really do in terms of the job now.

“Win our games, it’s in our hands if we do that, so if we get a positive result and three points, that’s another step closer to what the lads want to achieve.”

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