Under-18s in a confident mood

By SFC Media time Fri 13 Oct Arsenal v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Danny Butterfield (right)

With the trip to Arsenal looming, we spoke to Under-18s assistant coach Danny Butterfield about the progress of the youngsters, with a handful of the squad receiving international call-ups in the week preceding the game.

The teenage Saints have been representing Austria, Wales and Norway, as well as various age groups in the Republic of Ireland set-up, but have returned to club football intent on extending their unbeaten run in the Under-18 Premier League.

"I think it is always nice for them as individuals to get recognition from their countries," Butterfield commented ahead of tomorrow's trip to London Colney. "It it something we promote as a club."

"We want the boys to test themselves against good opposition, it will only improve their development. We're pleased for the ones who got selected, but they are back now and focus switches to the Arsenal game.

"Some had the weekend off to recharge the batteries, and are now keen to prolong our momentum."

Perhaps unnerving to some, ex-Saints defender Butterfield is convinced that his young charges will relish the challenge of facing one of the country's most renowned academies, after convincingly beating Manchester City last month.

Talking about his squad's preparation in the run-up to the fixture, Butterfield added: "Against the better teams in our league, on reputation, you rise to the challenge.

"Perhaps it brings more of a focus to the lads, in the lead up to the game. Particularly, the result against Man City has given everyone the belief that we can compete against the best academy teams.

"We've watched Arsenal's recent games, and know what they're capable of. We'll show them as much respect as necessary, but equally try to impose our game on them. The boys are in a confident mood."

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