Southend United U18s continued their preparations for the start of their new season with a five-day trip to Five Lakes in Colchester thanks to the support of Shrimpers Trust.
Dave Huzzey’s squad travelled to the resort near Maldon last week, during which they took on West Ham and led twice before being beaten in the closing stages.
The U18’s kick-off their season against Barnet on Saturday, and Huzzey was pleased to get everyone together and foster some team spirit and was grateful to the Shrimpers Trust for sponsoring the trip.
“The reason we go away in pre-season is to get the boys together,” he revealed.
“It’s hard to get that team mentality because we’re not a first-team and we’re looking to get players in our first-team. It’s been the hardest pre-season in terms of getting a team spirit because we’ve had so many players playing for the U23s, so to get the team together for a week in Colchester and do what we did was excellent.
“We put a lot into them in the first two days, which was planned, because we wanted them to go into that game a little bit fatigued. The performance in that game, considering how much they had worked, was outstanding. We had a lot of younger players playing against West Ham’s older players so to compete and go 2-0 and 3-2 up and narrowly lose in the end, was outstanding.
“I’d like to say a massive thank-you to the Shrimpers Trust for sponsoring our time away, and they will get their rewards for the money they put into the youth department because, like Dru Yearwood did last season, there are many more players who are coming through the system.
Paul FitzGerald from the Trust added: “The Shrimpers Trust is delighted to be able to help the U18's with their tour at Five Lakes. We all feel very proud that our efforts and funds have helped Ricky and his team bring through so many youngsters, especially recently, and hope that this investment will go some way to identifying the next young star.”