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Probert proud of Academy’s progress

Academy Manager Gary Probert believes everyone connected with the football club should be extremely proud of the Under-23s group after their success this season.

WATCH: GARY PROBERT'S ROBINS TV INTERVIEW 👇

The young Robins won the Professional Development League South but suffered a 2-1 loss to Birmingham City after extra-time in the semi-final.

Owura Edwards put City ahead with a well-struck strike, but Adan George levelled the scores from the penalty spot before Joe Redmond netted at the death to inflict defeat on the development group at Ashton Gate. 

New CEO Richard Gould watches on at Ashton Gate

Proud

“We are really proud of the players,” Probert told Robins TV. “The players are devastated in the dressing-room and it’s a sad place as you’d expect it to be losing towards the end of extra-time in a semi-final. But we are proud, and we need to try and look back at the bigger picture.

“It’s been a really positive year for the Academy as a whole and for the individual players it’s been great and that’s what we need to keep our eye on.

“I think although in Under-23s football winning isn’t the most important thing, it still is important because you’re teaching them about what the real game, the men’s game looks like. There’s a few tired bodies and minds at the end of a long season and we just fell a little bit short today."

Dedication

“It’s been a difficult year with the COVID situation and the protocols. If we go back to August when we came back in groups of five, socially distanced, non-contact training to have got to where we are now we are very proud as a group of staff and as a football club of the players.

“They’ve shown an unbelievable dedication to keep improving themselves, to want to keep working in difficult COVID protocols that we’ve all had to navigate through and we’re over the moon with the progression of them. We’ve seen a large number make their debut, we’ve seen a large number step up when they’ve been required by the football club, and they need a really good rest now to go again in pre-season to build on that next season.”

Nigel Pearson and his coaches were in attendance in BS3

Over the course of the summer the Academy will move across from Filton to the Robins High Performance Centre o be alongside the first team, and, with all staff and players based at one facility, it will be a real boost to the future of the club.

Robins High Performance Centre move

“The timing couldn’t be better on the back of a difficult year with the COVID situation,” Probert added. “Some of the boys have been lucky to be around it this week, we’ve been able to use some of the pitches up there this week in preparation for this game and the look on their face when they walk in is something we will never forget.

“Over the next few weeks, we will start making the integration a bit more with some of the staff and getting ourselves ready for pre-season, but it will make such a huge difference to our practise.”

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