Vital Football

Latest Manchester City News

A Successful Experiment

A Successful Experiment

A few eyebrows were raised at the start of this season when the club announced the formation of a second reserve team to compete in the Pontin`s Holiday League. With the restructuring of the Barclays Premier reserve league meaning that there would be fewer reserve team games this season, City hoped the new team would help bridge the gap between the Academy sides and the first team reserves.

Under the tutelage of Gregor Rioch, the team, comprising of a mixture of players from both the under 18`s and under 16`s, found the step up in class vast at first and were found out by streetwise journeymen pro`s, with the likes of Blackpool, Accrington Stanley, and Rochdale handing out some heavy defeats and teaching them some valuable lessons. But as the season has progressed and the younger members of the squad have gained experience and know how to supplement their undoubted talent, results have begun to pick up with the young blues having lost only one of their last seven matches.

The emphasis of the Pontin`s Holiday League side has tended to focus more on performances rather than just results and Academy boss Jim Cassell is happy with the set up, his brainchild from the very start.

'I`m absolutely delighted with the way it has gone this season,' says Jim. 'We knew it was a risk and after a few games there were a few eyebrows raised towards me! But taking decisions like that is what I get paid for.

'Everybody feels that it has been a good decision, yes, we`ll get bashed a couple of times and we knew that would happen but overall the boys have developed.'

'It`s much better than playing friendly games against inferior opposition,' he continues, 'and I say that with the greatest respect. Every game we play is competitive, they play at the athletics arena like the reserves do, so I think it`s been a good thing.

'It has been a good learning curve for the boys, they have had some real battles, a few crunching tackles have flown in and they have learned from the pros they have played against. Most of the Pontin`s games have been more difficult than the Under 18s fixtures.'

Looking at the recent improvements in both results and performances from the side, its looking like Cassell's gamble is paying off. With youngsters like James Poole, David Ball, and Javan Vidal starting to look the part at this level, next seasons jump to regular Premier Reserve team football should not be too difficult to make. The Pontin`s Reserve league has proved to be an excellent stepping stone in the development of the younger players here at Manchester City and long may it continue.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday March 29 2007
Time: 1:00PM


Cassell is one man doing a wonderful job at City. Good article Graham, it's nice to see other areas of the club covered.
31 years
29/03/2007 17:31:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester City Articles

Chuckling Over Inevitable Maureen Fallout

Is anyone chuckling over the inevitable Jose (Moaning Maureen) Mourinho fallout? I know I am.

Plane Hopping

Today's eight hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Manchester will see 14 senior City players find themselves hopping from one aircraft to another as they prepare..

The Ped UCL Draw Report

Hotballers Get Their Precise Wish...I Wonder Why?

Best Of Blue Moon Rising TV & What The Boys Do Now

Paul Walsh, Steven Mcinerney and Alex Hylton were the backbone of the now defunct Manchester City fans YouTube channel, Blue Moon Rising TV.

Manchester City Archived Articles

VMC articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
Johnny Baguette
no email
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

When Joe Hart leaves City, for good in the summer where will he go?
Suggested By: Tudor
Another Premier League team50%
Lower league English side0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Manchester City Results (view all)

Manchester City Fixtures

Vital Members League Table

1.Johnny Baguette363
3.Buzz Lightyear183
4.Colin Is The King163
The Vital Football Members League