Adam Barradell

Barradell Assesses Young Foxes’ 2021/22 Campaign

Individual player development is the most pleasing aspect of a positive season for Leicester City’s Under-18s, according to Adam Barradell.
More on this story...

- Coach Adam Barradell looks back on the Leicester City Under-18s’ season
- The young Foxes could finish as high as fifth in U18s Premier League South
- City reached the FA Youth Cup Quarter-Finals and U18 Premier League Cup last four
- The development of players is most important at this level, Barradell says

The Foxes youngsters conclude 2021/22 having collected 14 wins and five draws from their 26 games in U18 Premier League South, with a fifth-place finish possible, depending on results elsewhere.

However, while their results are a barometer of success, City’s Under-18s coach explained why the players’ own progression through the age groups is what counts at this level and where the targets lie within the team.

“It’s about making sure they go through the pathway and have careers in the game,” he told, assessing the season's aims. “The amount of boys that have gone from Under-18s to Under-23s and the development of those individuals, that’s ultimately the goal for us, to move players into the under-23s and around the first team.

“Many of the boys have trained with the first team this year and obviously we had a couple who had been on the bench and been involved in cup competitions, so individually it’s really pleasing for them.”

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Sammy Braybrooke
Sammy Braybrooke

Sammy Braybrooke has captained City's Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup this term while also playing 23 times for the Development Squad in Premier League 2.

Two of those players to feature in the senior squad this term are Sammy Braybrooke and Will Alves, the latter making his first-team debut in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.

While both are still eligible to play for the Club’s Under-18s side, helping to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup and last four of the U18 Premier League Cup, they have primarily featured for City’s Development Squad.

That has enabled opportunities for younger players to step up and play for the Academy side on a more regular basis, developing their game consistently - a key part of Barradell’s work as a coach.

He continued: “We’ve had a lot of players moving into the Under-23s, I think seven players in total, so the boys that have come into the team, the integration of some of the Under-16s players coming into the group, it’s around trying to hit the level that the boys had done early on in the season.

The way they’ve worked, the way they’ve took on the information, the style of play that we’ve implemented to carry on from last season, we’ve developed on that, so there’s some real positives.

Adam Barradell

“They’ve trained really well this year. The way they’ve worked, the way they’ve took on the information, the style of play that we’ve implemented to carry on from last season. We’ve developed on that, so there’s some real positives this season within the Under-18s group of players.”

Looking ahead to the summer, there is plenty of hard work to come, even in the off-season, alongside a period of rest and recovery, before preparing to be ready for 2022/23.

Barradell added: “The Under-18s are going to finish, they are going to have an off-season programme and we’ll look to return in six weeks’ time. So, the Under-16s moving into first-year scholars will come in at the end of June and we’ll look to start pre-season and look ahead towards next season.”

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