Youth coach delighted with the new under-21 setup at the Blues
Southend United youth team coach Ricky Duncan is pleased with how things are going and is delighted to be working alongside newly appointed Blues under-21 coach Dale Brooks.
Long-serving Duncan, who has played a part in the development for the likes of Dan Bentley, Jack Payne and Ted Smith, also admits he’s delighted with how the new scholars have interacted following their return for the new season.
“Pre-season has gone really well for us,” Ricky says.
“Last week we went to a place called Thorney in Peterborough. A friend of mine owns a lovely facility there and allowed us to use it. We stayed there from Sunday to Thursday and we trained and bonded our new scholars with the second years. We played Luton Town in a friendly game and drew 2-2.
“It was nice to see the new boys interact. They asked questions and conducted themselves very well.”
And Duncan is looking forward to getting his teeth into a challenging pre-season schedule, ahead of the league campaign.
“We have some tough games coming up against the likes of Crystal Palace, Fulham and Dagenham & Redbridge. Everyone will get a run out and we have a strong pre-season programme.
“We have extra sessions in the evenings in terms of tactical work. There’s a lot of work in the next few weeks and the week away was massively beneficial in how we’ve set up.”
And Duncan is delighted to be linking up with an old friend in the form of new under-21 coach Brooks, who has been with Duncan twice before – at Blues the first time around and at Cambridge United.
“I’ve worked with Dale a couple of times at Cambridge and here before. He’s an excellent coach and a developer and he’ll be a great addition for the Club.”
You can read the full interview with Ricky in the West Ham United issue of Blues on Saturday.