ACADEMY | U18s should be proud of themselves, says Baltacha

George Jones reports

U18s Head Coach Sergei Baltacha says that his U18s squad should be proud of what they achieved this season.

The young Addicks finished second in Professional Development League 2 South to reach the end-of-season play-offs for the fifth year in a row.

They were beaten 2-0 in the semi-finals by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Friday evening, bringing their campaign to an end, but despite the disappointment Baltacha says that his players can hold their heads high.

“There are two sides of the coin for us,” he said. “We lost the game but we are also looking at the bigger picture.

“In all games this year, 75 per cent of our team has been made up of first-year scholars and schoolboys, so if you look at the bigger picture and analyse the whole season, the boys should feel pride and should be proud of what they have achieved.

“We have said that to them and it is all about the future for them. We performed very well for almost all of the season and that is what we need to focus on.”

The Addicks, as they have done all campaign, fielded a very young side in Sheffield, which featured eight first-year scholars.

Baltacha said: “This season has been a very big part of the boys’ development, especially the schoolboys and first years, and I’m sure that experiences like Friday evening will help them.

“They will learn from it and it is about the future for them, not just Friday. We are proud of them and they should be proud as well.”

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