We’re in contention, but we’ve got to finish well – FCV manager Grant Brown
It’s been an unbeaten start to 2017 in competitive fixtures for FCV Academy, so a delighted Grant Brown explained what he thought was behind the fine form.
The introduction of new faces into an already competitive squad and a well-earned rest certainly seems to have done his squad the world of good.
FCV have played two fixtures in the English Colleges League picking up a win and a draw, whilst their four fixtures in the National League U19 Alliance have produced 10 points from a possible 12.
“We’ve had some very good results since the turn of the year,” explained Brown, Lincoln City's record appearance holder.
“We’re in contention in both leagues to make a very strong finish to the season, we’ve got to target that as a squad.
“Adding fresh faces has had a positive impact – it always does. Your existing players want to show they still warrant a place in the side and the new players come in wanting to prove a point.”
However, Brown’s side still seem to be leaky at the back, and have had to rely on the mass amount of goals that his forwards continue to supply.
Since the turn of the year, the Academy have netted 24 goals in their six competitive fixtures but conceded 13.
“Witnessing some of the goals we concede can be frustrating,” continued Brown. “Myself, Ian Sampson and Ben Watts are all defenders so it’s something we work a lot on in training.
“We’ve got a lot of goals in this squad. A lot of our players possess really good attacking ability so that's never been something we’ve worried about as a group of coaches.
It’s been a good start to the year on an individual level for members of the squad too, T’ai Williams earned the FCV Academy Player of the Month award, whilst Rudolf Blagogee was called up to Ghana U17’s for the upcoming African cup of Nations.
The personal achievements of both players have come through a mixture of hard work and natural ability, and Brown has hopes the Academy can build on these achievements
“Rudi has done superbly and I’m absolutely delighted. It’s an excellent achievement for him and the Academy, and something to be proud of. He’s a very good player with a good set of attributes that have earned him this call.
“T’ai was brilliant throughout January. Before Christmas we sat down with him and his parents and told him what he needed to do to up his levels on the pitch.
“He showed brilliant attitude to take on our comments and prove that he could do it, subsequently we’ve seen a big increase in the level of his performance in matches.”
Up next for FCV is a trip to Reading U18s being played at their Hopwood Park training base.