During the October half term, the U15s squad made the long journey up to Wolverhampton Wanderers to take part in the U15 Wolves Cup.
The tournament featured the Category One hosts, as well as variety of different clubs including Crewe, Burnley, Cheltenham and The London Youth Premier League, a grassroots side based in London.
The format was set out as a group of five games of 30 minutes with the top two progressing to a final.
It was seen as a good opportunity to play under the pressure of winning but also sticking to the Academy playing philosophy something that becomes more important especially at the U15 age group upwards.
Despite the two hour delay caused by a closed M11, the squad made it to the Jack Hayward Training Centre in time to warm up and start the first game vs Burnley.
The time spent stuck on the minibus in traffic meant the boys came flying out of the blocks, pushing Burnley back immediately and playing possession football in the opponents half.
Despite this, the boys couldn't find a break through until Harvey Sayer stepped up and scored with a free kick - something that is becoming a trademark of his - three minutes from time.
The next game saw the boys win comfortably vs LYPL with Donell Thomas scoring from range and Sam Cooke scoring a well worked goal. The third game was against a direct Cheltenham side where the boys showed patience and bravery in equal measure scoring two goals on the counter attack following a header from Alejandro Patino and a composed finish from Emmanuel Akpan.
The fourth game vs Crewe was a resounding victory with some really well worked goals following excellent movement from the forwards, with Emmanuel Akpan getting two and Tom Stagg getting the other.
The 3-0 win meant that the boys had made the final, however the day was starting to take its toll with two players being ruled out of the final matches.
As we were already confirmed to have reached the final, our last group fixture vs Wolves was about preserving players' energy for the final, keeping their shape and picking their moments to attack.
It was in this game that the back four of Harvey Sayer, Josh Fouche, Ben Steward and George Wind plus the two goalkeepers Hayden West and Ted Collins conceded their first goals of the tournament, losing 2-1.
The final was staged on Wolves U18s pitch and, with the game looking like potentially being a game too far for the boys, they started the game brightly with Todd Miller having three excellent chances in the first 10 minutes.
Eventually the goal came from Tom Stagg with a good far post finish following good work from Harvey Sayer. Burnley came back immediately but the boys weathered the storm. The final was wrapped up with an out swinging long range finish from Harvey Sayer.
It took a monumental team effort throughout the day especially considering the travel time as well as the three hours of football played with minimal rest periods in-between.
The squad received the trophy in front of the Wolves and Burnley players and staff, and had the additional bonus of Tom Stagg taking home the Player of the Tournament Trophy. Cue jubilant scenes in changing room afterwards and on the way home!
You can see the U15s in action against Arsenal on Thursday November 23rd at WHCS, in a 6.30pm kick-off.