EDS & Akademi

Wilkinson Semangat Hadapi Tantangan Sebagai Pelatih U18 City

Pelatih kepala U-18 yang baru, Ben Wilkinson mengatakan dia sangat senang dengan tantangan saat City mempersiapkan musim 2021/22 Liga Primer U-18 divisi Utara.

Ben telah menggantikan posisi Carlos Vicens, yang bergabung dengan staf tim utama Pep Guardiola awal musim panas ini setelah membimbing City meraih gelar Liga Primer U-18 Utara dan gelar nasional musim lalu.

Setelah karir bermain di sepak bola non-liga, Ben – putra mantan bos Leeds United dan Sheffield Wednesday yang sangat dihormati Howard Wilkinson – pindah ke kepelatihan dan menghabiskan lebih dari tujuh tahun sebagai staf pelatih di Sheffield Wednesday.

Dia bergabung dengan City tiga tahun lalu dan sejak itu menikmati masa-masa sebagai asisten pelatih kepala tim U-23 kami dan, lebih belakangan, sebagai pelatih utama tim U-16 kami.

Sekarang dia sedang mempersiapkan tantangan terbarunya, memimpin skuad City yang telah menikmati kesuksesan luar biasa selama beberapa tahun terakhir, yang berpuncak pada kemenangan gelar ganda musim lalu.

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Meskipun susunan skuad musim ini akan terlihat sangat berbeda, Wilkinson mengatakan bahwa dia sangat menantikan untuk mengawasi kumpulan talenta muda luar biasa terbaru kami.

“Saya sangat senang dengan tantangannya. Kami memiliki sekelompok pemain yang sangat berbakat dan itu memberi kami kesempatan untuk membangun pekerjaan yang sangat bagus yang telah dilakukan selama beberapa tahun terakhir,” ungkap Ben.

“Jika Anda melihat kembali ke lima, bahkan 10 tahun terakhir, kami memiliki tim U-18 yang sangat sukses dan saya kira ini tentang A: menjadi sesukses yang kami bisa dan B: mendapatkan pemain sebanyak yang kami bisa.; apakah itu dengan tim utama kami atau di tempat lain.

NEW ROLE: City's Under-18 head coach Ben Wilkinson
NEW ROLE: City's Under-18 head coach Ben Wilkinson

“There was some fantastic work last year. The teams played some exceptional football, and we had some top players. You put all those things together and it’s a real recipe for success.

“Now it’s time for new blood as our team this year will be almost unrecognisable from last year. Maybe one or two players will stay, the rest have all moved up and it’s about trying to take that success on.

“So, I am really excited about the role and very proud to follow in some successful footsteps.”

Looking ahead to the new campaign, Wilkinson was also crystal clear when outlying what would be his main priorities.


Adhering to the philosophy and playing style that underpins the Club as a whole would be the guiding principles as he sets out his stall.

“Commitment to the style of play that’s kind of deeply rooted in the Club and Academy’s philosophies (is key),” Wilkinson asserted.

“We can all be very proud of the fact that there is a very strong identity running through all the teams in the Academy.

“When you come and watch any of the City teams play; there is a real strong link through all the different age groups which is testament to the good work that has gone on for a long period of time here.

“So that is a big priority along with the individual development of the players.

“In terms of 70 or 80 per cent of the squad; it’s their first year of full-time football so it’s about managing that transition of still being a schoolboy and being a very serious footballer and being a Manchester City player and potentially training with the first team and the demands that are placed on you and also managing to maintain that winning formula.

“As much as its about developing players and the boys’ development, winning is also very important.

“The first team set the standard and we need to create winners at this level. If we are able to marry all those things together we’ll have half a chance.”

By way of added incentive, the Under-18s have also been handed a hugely exciting start to the new campaign.

Wilkinson’s young charges will kick-off the new campaign with a home derby against Manchester United on Saturday, August 14th – an attractive assignment which is then followed by a testing trip to Everton.


“It’s a great start for the boys and there will be no added motivation needed for those games,” Wilkinson added.

“They have played against Manchester United a lot of times in their journey, but it’s still means something to them above a lot of the other games.

“It’s another part of their development where they need to play the game and not the occasion.

“It’s a tough start against two of the top teams but it’s still only worth three points.”