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🎥 'Bright futures ahead' - Tinnion

Brian Tinnion is excited by the current crop of Academy players and believes many will have long and successful careers.

And the Academy Director is sure the Under-23s squad will learn from the experience of their 3-2 defeat in the Professional Development League 2 National Final against Coventry City.

“Football is a cruel game, but I thought we were very good and deserved better tonight,” said Tinnion.

“It’s never straightforward. I always say, the game’s not black and white, there’s ups and downs and you’ve got to deal with them.

“The people who are stronger mentally will deal with them and they’ll have careers for the next 10 to 15 years.

“I look around that dressing room and I see a really bright future for a lot of young players in there.”

🎥 WATCH TINNION'S FULL INTERVIEW 

Tinnion is proud of the effort of all of the Academy players and staff who contributed to a season which saw the Under-23s finish second in the Professional Development League 2 South.

“We use this Under-23s side as an Under-19 team, and our Under-18s are all Under-17s really,” Tinnion continued.

“We like to pressurise them and put them in difficult situations early doors, so that when they’re ready and the done from here there’ll go into men’s football and league football.

🤝 PROUD

“The Under-18s, the first-year and second-year scholars, played in this team this season, so the whole group of players should be proud.”

“Marley Rose is 17, Ollie Thomas is 17 today, so we’re really proud of them, as well as the staff who have been fantastic.”

The path from the Academy to the first team is well-trodden, with the senior team averaging six academy graduates in the match-day squad across the 2021/22 campaign.

“I’m proud of that relationship we’ve built now to make that High Performance Centre 'one' building," said Tinnion. "It’s not an Academy or first team building, we’re altogether and we’ve got that strong bond with Nige and his staff, including Curtis Fleming and Alex Ball who were here tonight.

“They know we’ve got good players; they want to watch them and when they’re ready we’ll get them to train with the first team.

“There’s going to be a lot of players coming through in the next few years, I’m sure.”

Words: Cameron Wyper


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