ACADEMY manager Dan Robinson was full of praise for the Burton Albion Community Trust’s (BACT) Football and Education programme after a recent friendly-fixture between a mix of the Academy’s under 16’s and first year scholars and former Brewer Aaron Webster’s education side.
The fixture was played on the indoor 3G pitch at St George’s Park and saw the academy run out 1-0 winners. Robinson was still very much full of praise of his former team-mate’s college side.
He, said: “I thought it was a great opportunity to see where both team’s players were at. We (Burton Albion Academy) were looking at some of our younger players, our u16’s who are looking to get scholarships next year and our current first year scholars, particularly the ones that haven’t had a lot of game time recently. We wanted to see how they (first year scholars) could step up and lead with the u16’s, so from our point of view it was a great opportunity to see where they were at against a good and currently successful community trust team. They’ve been getting some good results lately and they are a little bit older and are big strong boys, but they also showed that they have the ability to become footballers themselves, so this was a great exercise.
“I think the fact that the academy boys are in an individual training programme every week and that they train a lot more than the football and education college boys more times a week, obviously helps. All their work is focused on individuals, because our role is to try and develop players for the first team. I think when you look at our lads individually, you can tell that they are getting specific attention themselves, as it reflects on their technical ability as well. However, when you look at the community trust guys, I couldn’t fault their desire and character, and it was evident to see that there are a lot of players there that still have a lot of potential to be footballers, because they more than competed against us this morning.
“The trust obviously also has Jimmy Phillips working for them, along with us also having Shaun Harrad working for us, so that experience can only help both sets of teams, as our philosophy is all about developing better players and better people.
“I know the work that Webby (Aaron Webster) puts in to them, and with the background that myself and him have come from working under the Gaffer (Nigel Clough), I knew that they would focus a lot on their desire to win and to work hard. The pleasing thing for me was seeing that the gap is getting smaller between the football and education programme and academy that we’ve got.”