Darren Way

Academy Preview | Bournemouth (H)

Argyle’s Under-18s are back in action on Tuesday, as they meet Bournemouth at Tavistock’s Langsford Park (1pm).

The Young Pilgrims had a minor setback at the weekend, losing 3-2 to Bristol City in the PDL Cup, but it was spirited contest against an under-18s side of a club in a higher division and with a Category Two academy setup.

Now, Argyle face the Cherries, a side who pipped the Pilgrims to top spot in the Youth Alliance League table last season. Bournemouth have started this season well, too, and are top of the league once again. They have, though, played two games more than Darren Way’s Argyle side, who have won all four of their league games thus far.

“The challenge posed by our opponents this week – Bristol City, and now Bournemouth – is excellent in terms of the competition,” said Way. “On Saturday, we were a little bit unlucky not to get anything out of that game. But what the best teams do is cause you problems on transitions, and we could have defended our goal a little bit better.

“We haven’t had time to dwell on it too much, and now we have to show turnaround toughness to go again. We, as players, have to learn from our experiences, providing we have the ability to evaluate honestly after a performance. That’s what we have done; we’ve sat down, found which areas we think we can improve on, and that’s an art which the players are getting better at.

“Games against Bournemouth have always been excellent, with both teams wanting to get the ball down and play. They have been tight games, where the margin of error is very small. The pitch at Tavistock is big, I would expect both teams to try to use the space really well. Our pressing strategy will be important against Bournemouth’s technical ability, they will want to pick you off if you arrive late. We have to make that, in transitional moments, we capitalise and find the right ball at the right time.

“Alan Connell is a coach I respect, and I feel they play the game the right way. We’re all looking forward to it.

“Last year, nipped us on goal difference, which you very rarely find in the Youth Alliance. Bournemouth have been a team that have managed to be successful at what they do and have held that title for a number of seasons. For us to run them that close last season was to the credit of the players we had, and now it is time for the new crop to step up and keep that consistency up.”

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