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Tomorrow's Blades continue to progress

29 August 2012

Chris Morgan insists the youth of Sheffield United are progressing nicely after winning starts for both the U18s and U21s recently.

The U21s, on the back of an impressive pre-season, started their competitive action with a resounding 3-1 success and, likewise, the U18s have been in good form with two league wins, the most recent coming over Barnsley at the weekend.

Given the changes to the 'reserve' league, which is now an U21 competition, where teams can name three overage players, Morgan insists the emphasis remains to produce and prepare youngsters to step up to the first-team and he believes communication between the entire management staff is vital to a smooth transition between the U18s, U21s and ultimately through to the first-team:

"Under the new EPPP legislations, the development of all our youngsters is key to the future of Sheffield United. Playing competitive games and hopefully winning the majority can only help them as they look to force their way through to the first-team.

"The U21 matches are important for more experienced players who need game-time and again this will benefit the younger lads involved.

"Right from the top through to the Academy we all need to communicate and firstly establish the needs for the first-team, then the U21s and the U18s because we can't burnout the youngsters by playing them on Saturday morning and again on Monday afternoon.

"We also encourage the lads to have a good camaraderie and team spirit and, to be honest, they get on fantastically well."

On the winning start at Coventry City at U21s level and the exposure the youngsters are now experiencing, Morgan added: "It was a great start and it was exactly what all the lads deserved. They have worked hard all pre-season, after coming back in great shape, and working in and around the first-team has certainly benefited them.

"A lot of the younger lads went to Malta and experienced the first-team environment and now that we can name seven substitutes, many of them are getting the chance to travel with the first-team on a regular basis and that again will only aid their development throughout the season.

"In the U21s league my philosophy is about blooding these lads and trying to get them a winning mentality because, at their age, in their position, they need to be ready should the Gaffer call upon them for the first-team."

United U21s' first home game is on Tuesday 11th September 2012, with a 1pm kick-off at the SUFC Academy at Shirecliffe. Barnsley will be the opposition.

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