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Youth and Academy round-up

By Ian Appleyard | 13th April 2018

Academy manager Mark Spencer is now in charge of City's Under-18 side following the departure of youth team manager Steve Torpey to the Professional Footballers Association.

Spencer, pictured above (right), took the side for the first time during last weekend's 2-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Youth Alliance.

"Where before, I was always happy to support Steve, I now have the lead role in taking the team forward for the remainder of the season," he said. "I am looking forward to the challenge and some of the players will have a point to prove.

"It's a fresh start and a clean slate and I have told them to 'earn the right' to be involved in games on a Saturday. If they train hard and work hard, they will be rewarded."

The Under-18s are currently missing striker Flynn McNaughton on first team duties and winger Noah Jackson with a knee injury but pushed Rovers all the way.

Spencer, however, felt the need to emphasise the importance of 'team discipline' after City picked up five yellow cards during the game.

"I had a word with all the players after the game," he said. "A lot had been concerned about the referee's performance but all you can do as a player is control how you behave and how you play.

"The referee makes up his own mind - whether you think it is right or wrong. As players, you have to be disciplined and focus on your own game. One of the major talking points, for example, was Doncaster's first goal. Our players thought he was offside and, when the ball went in the back of the net, they lost focus. They felt let down but they have got to learn from that.

"It was a tight game and it could have gone either way. Unfortunately, Doncaster put their chance away and scored a late goal that killed us off." 

Spencer, 31, admits that he has learned a great deal from Torpey during his first two seasons at Bootham Crescent.

"Steve has been a massive influence on me. He is an utter professional and I wish him all the best working with the PFA," he said. "I have learned how to manage a team and how to organise a team and picked up lots of vital information from his playing days.

"All coaches have their own unique style and you take as much information from other people as you can and use it as you see fit. My main role is still as Academy manager and I have assistance from both Luke Templeman (Lead Youth Development Phase Coach) and Dan Wilson (Lead Foundation Phase Coach) who are on hand to take sessions if needed.

"What I want to see now is as many youth players as possible getting into the first-team environment. That's a massive part of the role and it's brilliant at the moment with Flynn and Vinnie Steels getting in.

"If I have to lose out on a few more players for games going forward, I will be more than happy with that."

No fewer than NINE youth team players were also in the starting line-up for Wednesday's reserve team fixture against Grimsby Town at Bootham Crescent.

The Under-18s, meanwhile, return to action against Hartlepool United on Saturday (kick-off 11am). The game takes place at the Blackhall Colliery Welfare Park, TS27 4LX.

City Under-18s (V Doncaster Rovers): Whitley, Kemp (Dyer 65), Lawrence, Thompson, Rogerson (C), Watson, Berry, Haswell, Overton (Haigh 60), Harrison (Jackson 88), Steels. Unused substitutes: Wilton.

City reserves (V Grimsby Town): Whitley, Dyer, Lawrence, Wharton, Watson, Rogerson, Haswell, Thompson (C), McNaughton (Berry 77), Correia, Steels (Harrison 61). Unused substitutes: Wilton, Overton, Cawthorn.

Midfielder Harry Thompson, 18, captained City's reserve team for the first time in the midweek Central League fixture against Grimsby Town at Bootham Crescent. Photo: Ian Parker.

Josh Rogerson hits the deck against Grimsby reserves watched by Jake Watson (left) and Zac Lawrence. Photo: Ian Parker.








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