Preparations for the 2022/23 season are in full swing for Walsall Under 18s who have enjoyed three different challenges on the pitch during pre-season.
The Saddlers began their pre-season campaign with a 5-1 defeat against Redditch United, Piers Juliff netting for Walsall.
Their second outing saw them take on West Bromwich Albion in what was a productive exercise despite a 2-0 defeat.
In their most recent match, the Saddlers drew 2-2 with Burton Albion with Shay Willock and Arjun Toor getting on the scoresheet.
Professional Development Phase Coach Ben King feels the team will benefit from the different styles they have come up against and is pleased with the progress being made.
“It’s been good so far, really good,” King said.
“This pre-season has been nice because we’ve had a range of games so far.
“We had Redditch in the first game and it was a tough one because they had Under 23s, which was something we needed.
“We then went into the game against West Bromwich Albion which was U18s but they’ve got a number of England players in there so a completely different style of game but we coped really well with it.
“We had less possession in the game, did a lot of defending but it was fantastic to try a few things out with that. We had our chances in the game which was nice so it was really promising.
“We then had the Burton game and we were really pleased with the performance.
“We got a couple of goals and it was nice to be able to do all the work that we’ve been doing in training, trying to break quickly, get forward, play forward and I think it worked quite well.
“Overall, I’ve been really pleased with a range of different styles of game and it’s had a lot of benefits.
“It’s nice because we’ve been able to work on things we’ve been doing in training. Yes, they’re competitive games but things you can still practice and try things out.”
Preparations continue this weekend as the Under 18s host Kidderminster Harriers at Birmingham County FA.