Collingham's youngsters praised after scoreless draw at AFC Bentley
Collingham opened their CML North Division campaign with a scoreless draw at AFC Bentley, a result that assistant manager Dean Hyde was happy with after a complicated pre-season.
“We lost every member of first team squad apart from one, which means last year’s under-18s will get a chance.
“About eight players from the under-18s participated in this season’s friendlies, but it will depend on university places as to whether they stay at Collingham.”
Hyde is no stranger to the youth players having managed last season’s under-18s during their quadruple winning season, and he said the future of his side would be clear once his players’ A-level results have been released, very much showing the reality of step seven and non-league football.
“The challenge will be inexperience, but this team have shown dedication and commitment, which we have lacked previously,” said Hyde.
“I expect this young team to get better each week and to finish around the top end of the table again, come the end of the season.”
On Saturday, Collingham offered threat through Tyler Coy, who forced the home keeper into a good save after ten minutes, before Tom Johnson’s snapshot almost crept in moments later.
Facing the wind in the second-half, Collingham were on the back foot, but good saves from 17-year-old keeper Josh Wilson ensured The Bees took a clean sheet back to Station Road.
“A point was a result we would have taken before the game,” Hyde said.
“We have never done well in this fixture. In fact, we have never taken a point.
“We had the majority of the game and, with a bit more luck in front of goal, we would have been convincing winners.”
Collingham: Wilson, Greenwood, Cooke, Wilkinson, Moore, Goodwin, James, Corner, Nicholson, Coy, Johnson