ACADEMY PLAYERS NEED TO BECOME MORE 'NON-LEAGUE'
MEDWAY MESSENGER REPORT - Thursday 16th January 2020
Darren Anslow wants his players to be more streetwise as Lordswood chase a place in the Kent Senior Trophy semi-finals.
Lords host Bearsted in the last eight this Saturday, with Anslow knowing they must be on their game. They go into the tie on the back of a 1-0 league win over K Sports but that game highlighted an area of concern.
Boss Anslow said: "We need to have a better understanding of the game. We're not non-league enough, if that makes sense. We need to be more streetwise.
"For example, one of our young boys had an opportunity to clear the ball on the edge of his own box a minute before half-time but instead of that he's attempted a drag-back and conceded a freekick.
"That's the difference with academy football, nobosy's job is on the line, points don't matter, it's about development of players. Don't get me wrong, you want players to be comfortable on the ball but you need to know when to put your foot through it.
"Young boys look at it and don't see a purpose in going long. They've all grown up playing FIFA and that's how they play. It's the streetballer mentality where you play with your mates and it finishes 14-13. I don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm but we need to know when to play."
Anslow has been impressed with Trophy opponents Bearsted this season. They're the third highest scorers in Southern Counties East, with 50 goals in 19 games, and are dangerous opponents.
"We won 2-1 there but i was really impressed with them," said Anslow. "They've scored goals for fun and we've kept quite a few clean sheets, so it will be an interesting game.
"It could come down to how we defend against their front three. It would be a great achievement to get to a semi-final with these young boys.
"We've got home advantage but in a quarter-final it's never going to be easy."
KENT SENIOR TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL
Lordswood v Bearsted
Saturday 18th January 2020 - 3.00pm KO
Martyn Grove, Lordswood Sports & Social Club, North Dane Way, Chatham, Kent. ME5 8YE
MATCH SPONSOR - Skyform Ltd (www.skyform.com)