Anyone know the situation with fans going to watch tonight?
Bath are covering the game on the radio at https://t.co/w7AukHVZGE?amp=1 coverage starts at 7.25.
I just ‘phoned the Academy and told the receptionist what the Safeguarding Officer had stated to me last week, ie that the 2 person per player cap had been lifted. He was unaware, but called out to a colleague who confirmed there is indeed no cap for this evening. Spectators will however be obliged to record names for track & trace purposes. What can possibly go wrong?
Thanks. I know Bath were advertising supporters could come over. That's why I asked.
I believe Ryan Harley is part of their current squad, so we’re likely to see more of him today than anyone saw of him in a Swans shirt.
Former Wales age group teams International and Southampton trainee Lloyd James is also a member of their squad having signed from FGR in 2020.
Mo Touray playing for them.
Russell Martin watching the game. Paul Bodin visiting as well.
Rushesha 2 weeks away from full training.
H. Jones Butler Erickson (c) J. Jones
Abdullai Cotterill Leveritt
Campbell Trialist T. Whittaker
Men against boys so far 1-0 Bath
Impressed with their commentator. Knows all our players names, unlike those we have covering our first team games.
Bath City Radio
Whittaker penalty 36, 1-1
1-2 Bath, Fletcher 1 mins
1-3 Bath, Touray 57mins
Final score 1-3
I hope these matches will do the youngsters good in the long run
Bath play at a decent level - and importantly are grown arsed men. I am sure that exposure to that level of physicality will aid long term development.
From an eye ball test that others like Jasper, Colin etc might confirm is that most of our "boys" are south of 20 in age - and this is the correct demographic for our academy players - no longer do we want 21-23 year old "prospects" by that age they should be with a first team somewhere.
Result not important.
Thanks for line up Jasper
What's happened to Josh Thomas, doesn't seem to have featured in any pre season games
Any idea who CF trialist is or from where ?
Erickson and Hansen both 20. The rest teenagers. Cotterill 16.
People mature at different rates and I don't think it's the right approach to say if someone's not ready by the time they finish their teens they should go elsewhere. Our recent history suggests few of them have been ready for senior football with us before they turned 20, and perhaps benefited from the extra time. A single pro year to sink or swim makes for a cutthroat environment.
Those that were there or listening will know we were undone by 2 calamitous errors of judgement for the 2nd & 3rd goals but, in reality, we were soundly dealt with by a streetwise Bath side. We had a purple patch in the 10 minutes before half-time, but there were long periods in the 2nd half where we were pressed back and couldn’t work a way out of our own half.
On the plus side, and in my opinion only of course, Tarrelle Whittaker looks bright & tenacious, Sam Leverett might prosper with more support & Ben Erickson will have benefitted from another competitive match.
Dylan Morgan came on for Campbell and on the left wing.
Filip Lissah came on for Whittaker and played out the game from right side midfield.
Orphee Bony (I think) came on for Leverett almost bang on time but didn’t touch the ball.
Our trialist centre forward was called ‘Jay’ by his team mates. He had a difficult and thankless role up front.
Otherwise, it was quite nice to be back in the ground & to enjoy the ambience and those moments when some poor soul is sent to retrieve the balls from the bushes behind the goal!
Onto the next…
Bath's commentator said it was Richard Faakye (which he pronounced Fake) who came on at the end.
Ah OK, thanks, the player concerned didn't have a chance to even take up a position before the whistle blew.
An excellent radio commentary last night courtesy of Bath City F.C. which puts our club to shame unfortunately. From what I gleaned we rarely troubled an experienced Bath outfit who will be playing in the Vanarama National League South this season.
Here are last night's squad and ages of players,
Dfreitas-20, H Jones-18 in October, J Jones-20 in September, Abdullah-21, Butler-19, Erickson-22 in December, Cotterilll-17 in October, Leverett-19, Campbell- 21 in October, Trialist A ?(played 90mins), Whittaker-19,
T Evans(G/K)not used-17, Lissah-17(75mins), Faayke-16(90mins), D Morgan-20 in September(63mins), G Bony not used-16
Those ages look off to me, Colin. Rio Campbell turns 19 in October, not 21. Dates of birth are all on the official site.
@jasper_T you are correct that players mature at different speeds - and some might need a little more patience. However, I mentioned not wanting 21-23 year old prospects around our academy, and this I stick to as a general rule.
Looking at the most recent crop of academy prospects - Dan James, Ollie and Joe Rodon all made their first team bows at age 20, Connor at 21 and Ben Cabango at 19.
This is the "sweet spot" for physical maturity IMO - exceptional talent might speed the process up a tad.
If we have anyone in the 21-23 age group they need to be around our first team squad or out oin loan to gain whatever they need to make the grade.
And yes this is a cut throat environment where very few make it.
In an ideal world there would be a loan waiting for every young player that could benefit from one, but that's just not the reality. Some don't have worthwhile options (Oli Cooper last summer), others go to unsuitable clubs due to no other choices (Byers to Portsmouth, Connor to Bristol Rovers, Boro). Some they're not even wanted (DJ at Shrewsbury), or arrive as injury cover and rely on bad luck to teammates to get their foot in the door (Brandon Cooper at Newport, Connor at Yeovil).
We're not Man Utd or Liverpool with managers queuing up to take our prospects.
Cullen barely played before he turned 22. Garrick is 23 and some still think he can push on. It can be good to have some experience in the u23s side to help the (very) young ones through. Ben Erickson's getting a second chance after a year away, hopefully can put the injuries in the past.
If we have a 22 year old that no other club (at any level) are prepared to take on loan - then on a business basis alone I am "calling it". This is just opportunity blocking for younger players.
Both Garrick and Cullen made their debuts at 21 and have been around the first team squad since - which again is within my tolerance level (just).
Both have it all to prove - and they compete for squad places with mature professionals and sink or swim - hopefully for us and them they swim.
Why expect other clubs to be as good a judge of our own players as we are? Maybe that's why we signed Joel Asoro - Shrewsbury decided Dan James wasn't good enough so it was obviously time for us to move on. Joe Rodon barely impressed at Cheltenham, "looked scared to head a ball". Cabango had to go to the Welsh Prem, which was a brave choice at 18. Were the fashionable PL loanees we chose to bring in ahead of him any better?
It's always been difficult for us to find destinations for our young players (except those with agents savvy enough to lead us to buy them in the first place). Very dependent on Newport and former players as links. Reputation has been improving but we'll never get close to the bigger sides where even their castoffs are in demand. Including by us. A lack of interest is just that, it's not a meaningful assessment of the player and his potential.
bit of a rush this morning before I went out to golf, here are the amended age of those that played last night. Cross referenced with Official site and Transmkt.
Abdullah-19 in December, I had 21
Butler-19 in December, I had 19
Erickson-21 in December, I had 22
Campbell-19 in October, I had 21 in October
Whittaker-19 in November, I had 19
Lissah-17 in December, I had 17
Faayke-17 in March, I had16
D Morgan-19 in September, I had 20 in September
G Bony-17 in December, I had 16
You emphasise my point @jasper_T - Dan J and Joe R had "character building" loans at a young age - but they were in our first team squads by the age of 20-21. Same was true of Ollie Ben Cabango Liam Cullen and Jordan Garrick.
IF you are 22 and still in the under 23 set up then I have serious questions.
Yes we signed Joel Asoro - and he is like a lot of this summer's recruits - most wont make it - BUT if they are still not threatening the first team squad at 22 and have nowhere to go on loan then i stick to my original view - it is time to for us move on.
Out of interest do we have any academy propects that have made it that were 22 or older making their first team debut? Personally I cant think of any.