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U18s ready for the Latics following a transitional week says Ras

2 February 2024


U18s ready for the Latics following a transitional week says Ras

2 February 2024

This weekend our U18s take on Oldham Athletic in the Youth Alliance League at Lancaster and Morecambe College (10:30am kick-off).

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash, Lead PDP Coach Ollie Ras said: “It’s another game we are really looking forward to. 

“We’ve had quite a transitional couple of weeks for our U18s, with [our] second-years starting to head out on loan.

“It’s great for their development and it opens doors for the first-years and U16s to come in and get a taste of U18 football.”

In August, the young Shrimps defeated Oldham Athletic 4-1, as Cameron Rooney, Jack McKean, Adam Fairclough and Saul Fox-Akande netted on the road.

“It was a really good game for us last time [against Oldham].

“They’re in a transitional moment themselves and have really kicked on since, so we have to be at our best to have a positive outcome.”

Last Saturday, the U18s fell to defeat in the Youth Alliance Cup quarter-final against Mansfield Town. 

Despite the result, positives were to be taken from the encounter, one of them being 16-year-old forward Billy Whaite being rewarded with his first start at U18 level.

“Delighted for Billy to get first start in the youth team at the age of 16, he’s played a big part already this season, but mainly from the bench, so it’s really pleasing to be able to give him his opportunity to start.”

Defender Leyton Holden and attacker Matty Williams completed a one-month work experience loan switch to Kendal Town on Tuesday.

Analysing the young Shrimps’ build-up to this weekend, Ras said: “It’s been an interesting week, as mentioned, with players heading out on loan.

“Having a hybrid training model, we’ve been able to have smaller type group sessions and when everyone’s in [training], a normal type week as well.”

Ollie provided an injury update ahead of our meeting with the Latics, he said:  “We have a couple of little niggles within the camp that we are monitoring closely, so we’ll have to see who is available on Friday.”

Saul Fox-Akande made his first team debut against Colchester United last weekend, as he replaced Ged Garner on 84 minutes.

Speaking on that proud moment for the Club’s Academy, Ollie said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Saul to make his first team debut, he’s really stepped up this season and has worked hard both on and off the pitch. 

“He’s got to use this now as a platform to continue to kick on and develop even further. 

“The gaffer has been great with the young lads since taking over, giving them opportunities to showcase what they can do in training.

“It’s great that he put faith in Saul on Saturday.”

Supporters can attend this weekend’s Youth Alliance League fixture against Oldham Athletic for FREE at the following venue: Lancaster and Morecambe College, Morecambe Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TY

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