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Scholars Match Preview: Morecambe U18s v Port Vale U18s

1 April 2022

Morecambe U18s set to host Port Vale U18s at home Saturday 2 April in EFL Youth Alliance League.

The young Shrimps head into Saturday’s game off the back of a 3-1 victory against Blackpool U18s last weekend, which saw goals from Callum Sandle, Jamie Nicholson and Jack McKean find the back of the net to secure a solid win for the home side. 

Competing as part of the North West division, Morecambe and the Valiants meet regularly in league action, the last time came back in November 2021, where the Shrimps travelled to Staffordshire and brought back three points, winning by four goals to three on that occasion. 

The Opposition

Port Vale U18s are sitting 13th place in the table as things stand, just one below Morecambe, and are without a win in their last five league games. They will be looking to bounce back following a 4-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers U18s last Saturday.

Academy Manager Will Ryder, is also managing director for Active Learning, which is a multi-sport coaching company, and has worked as a coach at clubs such as Manchester City, Stoke City, Wakefield FC and Wigan Athletic.

The Cheshire based coach has previously spent time as the U23 squad coach here at Morecambe, as well as stints as Assistant Manager of semi-professional clubs such as Curzon Ashton FC and Rushall Olympic FC.

Pre-Match Thoughts

Despite a run of good performances, U18s Lead Coach Darren Finch, says he is wanting the lads to pick up from where they finished last time out. 

“Last weekend was a very good result. I’m pleased with how hard the lads worked, they got the basics right, and were rewarded with a good three points,” he said.

“I have just told the lads to be focused, and to carry on doing what they have done for the last couple of weeks.

“Like all games, Port Vale will be a tough game. They’re a good side, with good players, and have the same principals as us, so they will work hard.

“It’s not just about winning games, it’s making sure they are taking on board what they are told in training.

“In Youth Development, the aim is to progress and to become better footballers, but it’s getting that balance to also win some matches as well.

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