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Adrian Forbes | "It’s great to be back out there"

9 July 2023

Club News

Adrian Forbes | "It’s great to be back out there"

9 July 2023

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Development squad head coach Adrian Forbes described the friendly at Hitchin Town on Saturday afternoon as “amazing” after the young Hatters won 2-1 in-front of 1,095 spectators.

Millar Matthews-Lewis scored a late winner for the Development squad after Tyrelle Newton gave Forbes’ side the lead in the first half.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago since we had the friendly here in the previous season,” said Forbes. “But pre-season is about getting minutes in the legs of the boys. It was great to give the boys 45 minutes each today, of course there’s a lot to work on, but there were also some really good bits.

“Great to get the win at the end, don’t know if we 100 percent deserved it, I’m not going to complain but from my point of view, it’s great to be back out there with the lads over the last couple of weeks, getting the fitness up and it’s great to have a run-out against a good Hitchin team.”

Opportunities for the Development squad to play in-front of a four-figure crowd are rare and Forbes explained that occasions like that are great for the development of our youngsters.

“Playing in-front of a crowd is amazing for this group, with us being Category 3 and not playing in a league, it’s not going to be very often that these boys play in-front of a crowd this big. Ultimately, my job and the job of the club is to challenge this group and develop them to be able to cope with playing in-front of crowds because we hopefully want them to be playing at Kenilworth Road in the Premier League in-front of thousands of fans.

Adrian Forbes walking across the pitch at Top Field.

“To get just over one-thousand fans here today at Hitchin has been amazing, you get to see how players cope with the crowd, even things like their name being read out on the tannoy, you don’t always get that all the time so it’s great for their development and it’s something we can hopefully expose them to again during the rest of the season.”

Developing young players to be ready for Rob Edwards’ first team is the main goal this season for Forbes, who believes the bar has been raised following promotion to the Premier League.

“It’s going to challenging again for us, we have to find the games for the boys to play in, we did brilliantly last year with the mix of teams that we had for the boys to play against and we’re going to be challenged with that again this year.

“The boys know the task ahead of them, we are now in the process of developing players to go into the first team, that bar has now been raised and it’s down to us as a group of coaches, staff and players to raise that bar again to push them to get around Rob’s squad.

“We know it’s not going to be easy, but that’s what they are here to do and if they can’t see the Premier League as a carrot for them to want to come in everyday to listen, learn and develop then what better carrot can you have.”

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