Academy Preview – Reds finish off with trip to Tyneside
Posted by nickogs20 on April 11, 2008
The u18’s travel to the north east tomorrow morning for their season-closer against Newcastle with third place in Premier Academy League Group C firmly in their sights. League position is far from the be all and end all at this level (at least as far as MUFC are concerned), but a strong top three finish will be some consolation for the young Reds after the disappointment of an early youth cup exit. A win at the Magpies’ Little Benton training ground will be enough to secure United third place behind City and Everton – a draw will also do the trick, providing Crewe’s youngsters don’t win by an eight-goal margin of course. You never know at this level…
Newcastle have had a disappointing PAL season, with 15 defeats in their 27 fixtures so far leaving them languishing near the bottom of Group D. A number of their starting lineup tomorrow have recent experience of playing United, having been involved in the recent reserve double-header between the two teams. Midfielder Jonny Godsmark gave the Geordies the lead at the Marstons Arena a couple of weeks back before United stormed back to win 3-1, while winger Kazenga LuaLua (younger brother of former Newcastle and Pompey forward Lomana) and Dutch forward Frank Wiafe Danquah also featured that night in Northwich. Newcastle will have England U17 international Ryan Donaldson leading an attack that promises to be full of pace.
The United line-up is hard to predict, with Paul McGuinness likely to be torn between fielding the strongest possible eleven and experimenting a little to give some fringe players much needed gametime. Barring over-age appearances next season, Ben Amos, Corry Evans, Danny Drinkwater, James Derbyshire, Anton Bryan, Daniel Gabraith and Magnus Eikrem will all be playing in their final PAL fixture if selected (Conor McCormack has apparently already left the club) and in some cases may even be pulling on the red shirt for the last time.
Live coverage is on MUTV from 11.55am tomorrow morning, with the game kicking off at noon.