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City scholars prepare for finale

4th May 2018

City's Under-18s are preparing for their final two fixtures and Academy manager Mark Spencer wants the youngsters to finish the season on a high.

The last two weeks have been a roller-coaster ride with five games to play as well as decisions being made on the futures of all second year scholars.

As reported, striker Flynn McNaughton, midfielder Harry Thompson, and centreback Josh Rogerson have been offered professional deals but six players - Aaron Haswell, Noah Jackson, Josh Berry, Joe Kemp, Zac Lawrence, and Joe Wilton - are being released.

The full team will line-up together for, possibly, the final time on Saturday when they visit Grimsby Town in the EFL Youth Alliance North-East (kick-off 11am).

The remaining fixture is at Wigginton Road against Chesterfield on Tuesday (kick-off 11am) but Spencer has granted permssion for those players leaving the club to attend the Football League's 'exit trials' which also take place on the same date.

The 'exit trials' are a showcase for young players who have been released to impress scouts from other clubs.

City lost 2-0 at Rotherham United in the Youth Alliance last weekend before lining-up again for the reserves on Tuesday in a 3-2 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the Central League. 

"In terms of performance, we were, by far the better team against Rotherham," said Spencer. " Everyone knew that but we got caught by two sucker punches at the very start and the very end of the game. We have hit the woodwork three times and I couldn't fault anyone for effort.

"The situation with injuries has been a concern - Noah Jackson, Haswell, Jake Watson, and Isaac Overton all ruled out - when we have been playing so many games in such a short period of time.

"But the injuries and departure of first team players also gave some an opportunity to play for the reserves for the first time including 16-year-old Jack Cawthorn who hardly put a foot wrong in the centre of defence."

City U18s (V Rotherham): Whitley; R.Harrison, Watson, Dyer (Cawthorn 88), Rogerson, Kemp, Haigh, Thompson, McNaughton, A.Harrison, Berry (W.Jackson 74). Unused substitute: Wilton.

City Reserves (V Doncaster Rovers): Whitley, Kemp, Watson (Wilton 72), Dyer, Rogerson, Cawthorn, Berry, Thompson, McNaughton, Harrison, Steels.

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