Academy coach pleased with development processNORWICH City Under-18s manager Jerry Gill has hailed a progressive season for his young side, who ended their campaign against Newcastle United on Tyneside just over a week ago.
The Academy outfit responded positively to a testing start to the season, finishing the year strongly with a series of impressive performances and results.
A notable part of City's involvement in the Barclays Under-18s Premier League was the frequent inclusion of players from younger age groups, and Gill told canaries.co.uk: "It’s been very good, which was what we were looking for.
"We try to make sure there's a progression in individual development through the season, and we feel we've done that. We've had every U18s scholar playing U21s football at some point, and a huge amount of U16s playing regularly with the U18s.
"Since Christmas we've had a massive improvement, and the performances have been very positive. We've also had some good results, beating Arsenal twice and winning 3-0 against Fulham towards the end of the season.
"There have been challenges and disappointment, but that's when you see strong characters come through. If you don't respond to that in the right way you're going to find it difficult, so they'll benefit from that."
Gill is already eyeing further progress when the youngsters return from their summer break, with the coach explaining: "The lads will go off on Friday, and all have their own programmes to work with.
"Over the summer we'll have two drop-in days, where they'll come back in. Before that though, we'll encourage them to go away for a couple of weeks and have a break.
"They need a breather because they've played a lot of football, so deserve a chance to switch off and spend time with their families. That's vitally important because they don't get to see them very often.
"They can go away, recharge their batteries and come in for the new season ready to go again."