Walsall Academy manager Miguel Llera feels the young Saddlers have benefitted from their trip to The Netherlands earlier this month after winning their first league game of the season.
The Under 18s won 5-1 away at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday in their season opener.
Goals from Saif Muckadam, Sam Perry, Alex McSkeane, Jayden Allamby-John and Perry Moss secured the victory for the young Saddlers and Llera was delighted to see the hard work from the lads pay off.
“We started the season and won away at Tranmere and it was a good opportunity for the lads to prove themselves, to prove that the hard work that they did in Holland paid off ,” said Llera.
“They were really excited after the game and we are looking forward to the next fixture.”
Walsall and seven other EFL club visited the Netherlands as part of the pre-season trip organised by the League Football Education.
The young Saddlers got some impressive results in the games that they played during the trip and Llera is happy with the progress made so far.
“It was a great time for me to get to know them and for them to get to know me as a coach, as a person and how we’re going to be working in the future,” said Llera.
“It was 24/7 thinking in football, improving physicality as well as technically and tactically.
“I think the trip was really good, the discipline was good and the games we played were really good and got good results.”
Walsall faced Vitesse Arnhem, Lincoln City, Sparta Rotterdam and FC Volendam.
They then followed that up with the 5-1 win at Tranmere in their opening league game and Llera is pleased with the results so far.
“We won two games and drew one and the kids have started to realise that the hard work they were doing was starting to pay off,” he added.
“We trained three times a day and it was really tough at the beginning but they started to get their rewards in games.”