Really liked the format of 2x60 minute games - gave the chance to have a proper look at all the players. I'd expect to see a lot more games like this going forwards in pre season.
New signings Celina - Looks very good on the ball, and was really impressed by how hard he was already working. Tracking runners and getting back to not shirk away from his defnesive duties - early days but could be a real good player
Garner - makes himself a nuisance and a better footballer than I expected. Doesn't win a lot of headers as a target man, but does enough that the defenders don't get a clean header on the ball and clear danger easily. Bit nippier than I expected too.
Iorfa - Massive. Just a huge bloke. Good defensively and reminds me of Mings in that he has such a long stride he can get himself out of trouble very easily. Will frustrate with the ball as can be very good and make an incisive pass and has good feet - or can just massively over hit a simple pass. Boom or bust.
Youngsters Nydam - This kid is impressive, don't be surprised if he ends up playing a lot at LB, or LWB, this season. Central midfield is too crowded to break into at the moment and he's too good a player to not push on.
Downes - Did well enough, but expect him to drift away from the first team scene relatively quickly when season starts
Crowe - Didn't have much to do, but what he did he did well - some of his kicking a bit wayward though
C. Smith - A good defender who was relatively untroubled. Surprised he doesn't get more of a look in as a back up.
McKendry - Works hard and shows some flashes, but still at least a year off. Hopefully a good year in the U23s ahead
Morris - Worked really hard, but a little bit shot shy. Physically getting better but still a little way off
Patterson, Fowler, McLoughlin - Not on long enough to worry about
Other New kit is as bad as it looks, just doesn't look like an ITFC side
Spence had a good dgame - him and Iorfa should compete well
Knudsen not a CB in a 442
Jack Marriott still as sharp and hungry for goals as ever - criminal he never had a chance here.
Sears looks sharp but to me shows he doesn't have the clinical-ness or instinct to be an out and out striker - much more suited to one of the 3 in a 4231
Bishop started brightly but faded badly, Skuse ended up doing more in an attacking sense.
Ward slowed the play down a little too much for my liking - needs a bit more dynamism at times.
Just listened to this from start to finish twice over - memories came flooding back of my teenage years. Still so good, so raw, and I was listening to it years after it was released.
Friday and Saturday nights in town, not getting in anywhere except the Arb or hiding in McGintys until you got spotted. Raiding parents drinks cabinets and filling up Still tango bottles with dreadful concoctions of spirits mixed with a bit of lime cordial to take the edge of it. Baldevs on Orford St or the Newsagent on Civic Drive getting Mad Dog 20:20 with ridiculous fake IDs. Trying to pull in town, fingering birds and get your hands on bare fleshed titties under the bra. Pretending to your parents you've been at Virgin Cinema. Indie Net and Mosh Pits, falling asleep in Rileys as it was open 24 hours. Drinking in Christchurch park. Sound Academy. DJ Luck and MC Neat in U18s discos at Kartouche. Getting girls home phone numbers and having to make that call to meet up with them fearing her parents may answer.
I could go on......good times in our little provincial town
I make the first team squad this - excludes those transfer listed:
GK - Bialkowski, Gerken
DF - Webster, Knudsen, Spence, Chambers, Kenlock, Smith
CM - Dozzell*, Skuse, Huws, Hyam*, Bishop*, Adeyemi
W - Celina, Rowe*, Ward
ST - McGoldrick*, Sears, Garner
20 players, and I've put an asterisk next to those who are a risk (Not played a lot of games at this level, missed substantial time with injury over last 2-3 years).
We then have Steven Taylor who sounds likely to sign, but will clearly have an * alongside his name due to injury concerns
U23s that might kick on - Downes, Patterson, Nydam, Morris most likely. Then likes of McDonnell, McKendry, Webber McLoughlin behind them.....but realistically a big impact from any of them is a big ask.
Think we need the following: GK - No one
DF - Taylor and at least one other versatile player who can cover right and centre back
CM - An experienced head in there who can be relied upon if Bishop and Hyam don't get back to fitness. A better Douglas.
U17s - Lost in final of Euro's to Spain on penalties U18s (with a few older players) - Won Toulon U20 tournament U19s - In final of Euro's vs Portugal on Sunday U20s - Won U20 World Cup U21s - Lost in semi final on pens v Germany in Euro's
Overall record: Played - 26 Won - 21 Draw - 5 (Won 1 on pens, lost 2 on pens) Lost - 0 For - 56 Against - 14
The academy system is working, EPPP is producing better players. Where do they go from here though?
A number have gone abroad this summer - either on loan or permanently. There is becoming an argument that young British players are very undervalued and bringing them in on year long loans is a good bit of business so expect to see more of this in Dutch and German leagues.
Performances like this will bring the B Team question back up sooner rather than later