Fleming hoping U18s’ progress continues at Brighton

By SFC Media Fri 04 Mar Club

Under-18s boss Craig Fleming wants his side to carry on doing with what they’ve been working towards in Saturday’s game at Brighton.

The second game of the seven game play-offs gives Saints an opportunity to build from consecutive draws, while also allowing the development of first year scholars and the younger age groups.

During the regular season Saints played out a 3-3 draw and a 3-2 defeat against Brighton, with Fleming expecting another competitive game this weekend.

“They’re a good side,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc of Brighton. 

“The group we’re in at the moment, we’re all much of a muchness to be honest from what I’ve seen. They’re good footballing teams who look to do things the right way, defensively need a bit of work it’s the same as all of those around us so there should be some good games coming up.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on it and the younger boys coming in have been fantastic as we’ve been a little harder to play against and certainly harder to score against so hopefully that will continue.”

Fleming’s commitment to bringing through the younger players won’t necessarily be replicated by the other teams they face between now and the end of the season, but that won’t change Saints’ stance.

“There’s already been a few results thrown up where’s there’s such a big difference in ages,” he said. 

“We’ve got 15 year-olds playing for us now and if we come up against a team now full of 18 year-olds then you’ve got three years on that age which makes heck of a difference. Already a few results have flashed up so it depends what you’re up against age-wise.

“It’s that time of year now where we’re looking at the lads coming in for next year, so the 16s are starting to bed in and play now like Ollie Gardner and Harry Hamblin who has been a constant recently while Jake Vokins has come in and got straight through to the 21s so the teams for the 18s and 21s will change as 16s start to move up one level.

“Every time they play or put on a red and white shirt they need to be at it, whether it’s the start of the season, the end of the season, a cup game or a friendly - that’s football, every game counts as much as any other.”

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