In the first of our series of academy blogs, young defender Luke Croll looks back on pre-season and a mixed start for the boys.
After a summer of Euro 2012, I was looking forward to coming back as a second year scholar, hoping to play regularly, with a number of good performances. Pre-season was good with the new intake of apprentices settling in well and we were all looking forward to the new Category 1 games programme with a number of new fixtures against Premier League teams from the north.
We went on tour to Hertfordshire, where we spent five days training and bonding as a new group and ended a tough week with a game against a Norwegian under 19 team where we all got a much needed 45 minutes under our belt with some impressive performances from our younger players as they stepped up to a new level.
Pre-season then continued with hard work and a great cohesion within the team, all optimistic and looking forward to our first game against Middlesborough.
To date we have played three league games and although we have drawn twice, we feel as if this is not a true reflection of what we deserve. We fully dominated against Middlesbrough but unfortunately missed two penalties and coming back from 3-0 down to Liverpool to be drawing 3-3, before we had two goals disallowed in the last 10 minutes.
We are playing well and relishing the challenge of our next set of games against Wolves, Chelsea and Manchester City.
I would also all like to thank those of you that come and support us and look forward to seeing you on Saturday.