Writer: Christopher Hooley
Date:Friday August 17 2012
The new season kicks off today for our Elite Development Squad; this article takes a look into some of the challenges they'll have to adjust to this year...
Atillio Lombardo is a man on a mission this season; develop the young Blue's into future champions.
'It's important to remember that the result comes second to helping this group of footballers to improve - that's my job.' Atillio Lombardo, 2012.
The EDS have experienced many changes over the past two seasons and those changes look set to make a huge difference this year.
Who's in charge of the team?
The club are keener than ever to produce talented, home grown, players and the man who has been trusted to make that happen is Atillio Lombardo.
Lombardo joined Manchester City in July 2010 and it is easy to see why Mancini has so much faith in him; he is an experienced Champion who has the winner`s medals to prove it. His list of accolades is pretty impressive they include; Three Serie A titles(Sampdoria, Juventus and Lazio), three Coppa Italian medals (Sampdoria (2) and Lazio) and a UFEA Champions League winners medal (Juventus). Atillio Lombardo has a close relationship with Mancini and they share similar tactical philosophies, so hopefully this will benefit the young blues. Another similarity is both men are clearly winners, so I guess the only question is; will Lombardo be able to implement his winning mentally onto his players? Only time will tell.
'We've done a lot of shape work, getting the team to help each other blend together as we have quite a new squad but we haven't had to do too much technical work as the players all have great technical qualities.' Atillio Lombardo, 2012.
What league will they be playing in?
The EDS's fixture's list will consist of two different competitions; the Barclays under 21 Premier league and the NextGen series. The Barclays under 21 Premier league is pretty self-explanatory. The EDS side will fight it out with the best young talent in the English football. The competition isn't exactly a league as such; it consists of seventeen Premier League teams and six Championship sides, the teams will be divided into an initial set of groups, then based on their performances, split into a further set of groups. From those groups the top performers will progress into a knockout style tournament. The NextGen series is a lot simpler to explain, it`s basically a mini Champions League; the best of the best from all around Europe, battling it out to be crowned champions.
Where will they be playing?
For those interested in supporting our young blues this season, the EDS home ground is Ewen Fields, Hyde, SK14 2SB. Updates and information for all the games will be available all season right here at Vital Manchester City.
When's their next game?
Today! The EDS lads travel to Brentford FC's Griffin Park to face Chelsea in a 19.00 kick off. Those unable to travel to the game will be able to follow the coverage via updates on the Club's official Twitter account. A full match report will also be available after the match, right here at Vital Manchester City.
Captain Reece Wabara was in good spirits yesterday, when he told Manchester City's official websites his thoughts on the upcoming game.
'I'm expecting a really technical match against Chelsea - both teams will keep the ball well and I think it might come down to the team that keeps it best and is the most organised will win,' Reece Wabara, 2012.
In the meantime, fed up of the bitterness rife on sites like the MUEN?
Click Here To Visit The VMC Forum And Get Weaving
all times East Manchester
Su 19 Aug 16h00 Southampton, The Etihad, PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield, PL
Sa 01 Sep 17h30 QPR, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15 Sep 15h00 Stoke, The Britannia Stadium, PL
Su 23 Sep 16h00 Arsenal, The Etihad, PL
Sa 29 Sep 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES:
The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.
Date:Friday August 17 2012
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