Butterfield: A buoyant mood

By SFC Media time Fri 05 Jan Saints v West Ham
Photo by James Bridle | Danny Butterfield

An impressive end to 2017 has seen Southampton's Under-18s squad approach the New Year with an air of buoyancy, as crucial ties against West Ham and Blackpool near.

Saints host the Hammers at Staplewood tomorrow as they are reintroduced to competitive fixtures after a two-week festive break, before travelling to Blackpool in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup.

And while coaching duo Danny Butterfield and Craig Fleming are pleased with the progression of their teenage cohort, the message of 'continual improvement' is one that they are keen to press home.

"The lads have come back really energised, after a good flow of games. Consistency levels have been creeping up, but they are young lads so I hope they'll return ready to hit the ground running," Butterfield commented.

"They need to get themselves up to speed quickly, and focus - which is also part of mine and Craig's roles as coaches. They've looked bright in training.

"We've got a league fixture before Blackpool, and they will all undoubtedly be playing for a shirt for that FA Youth Cup tie. Our league form has been very good, and we have eyes on finishing as high as possible - but there is work to do."

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Michael Obafemi scores (middle) during the match between Southampton FC vs Wolverhampton Wanders for the FA U18's Youth Cup on December 14, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by James Bridle - Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
U18s finished last year on a high with a resounding Youth Cup victory over Wolves

He added: "We'll maintain the message, 'go again'. The boys are grasping what is required, and understanding their roles and responsibilities more than ever. Everyone is contributing day to day in training, which can only help improvement.

"West Ham are a well renowned academy, so it'll be a competitive game. But we know if the boys can replicate the same intensity as before Christmas, we'll see a positive performance."


U18 Report: Saints 4-1 Wolves
chevron right
U18 Gallery: Saints 3-1 West Ham SFC_Camera
Saints v West Ham

U18 Gallery: Saints 3-1 West Ham

Saints youngsters too strong for their London counterparts after first league win 2018.

timeSat 06 Jan
Highlights: Saints 3-1 West Ham Butterfield: Deserving of the win On This Day: Saints win seven-goal thriller time3 hours ago
On This Day

On This Day: Saints win seven-goal thriller

Relive an epic encounter against Stoke at The Dell from 1982.

Saints Planet League Cup officially kicks off on 1st April Women's Highlights: Saints 0-1 Bristol City