SAFC Interim Academy Manager Stuart English has highlighted the benefits of the club’s Under-21 squad’s educational tour to Canada, as the young Lads face a number of tough tests across the pond.
Meanwhile, a youthful side primarily made up of scholars have travelled to Norfolk to take on Norwich City in the U21s’ opening Premier League 2 match of the season – for several players, a first-ever opportunity at PL2 level.
“We haven’t had many opportunities recently to take many age groups away on tour, and a huge chance came about for the U21s to go to Canada,” English explained on the Canadian trip.
“It’s a development journey for this group, and it was never an opportunity we were going to turn down for this stage of their development.
“For example, playing against Toronto FC II in front of over 3,000 fans in a wonderful stadium is a hugely important life experience for them.”
English went on to reflect on the welcome educational rewards for the starlets who have remained in the UK, and who can use the Norwich contest as ample chance to begin to test themselves at a higher level.
“It’s an equally important opportunity for the youngsters who haven’t travelled – particularly those who are making the step up into the Under-21 side for our trip to Norwich City.
“Whilst it will be a tough game, it is an opportunity for many of them to test themselves at a new level and play Under-21 football for the first time.
“That progression is what the Academy programme is all about and we think it will be hugely beneficial experience for them in their long-term development.”