Darren Way

Academy Preview | Leyton Orient (A)

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Argyle Under-18 manager Darren Way is fascinated to see how his side react to a long trip to face Leyton Orient this Tuesday, 23 August.

In a first-round tie in the Youth Alliance Cup, the young Pilgrims face a trip to East London, which follows the opening game of the league season in which Argyle won 4-2 away to Cheltenham Town.

A third away game to begin the season follows on Saturday, at Swindon Town, so Way’s young charges are certainly getting a good taste of travelling like a true Pilgrim.

The manager himself wants to assess the character shown on this series of trips as much as he does the footballing basics on the field.

He said: “It’s a 3.30pm kick-off, the players will probably leave at about 8am, and it’s five-and-a-half hours on the road. Psychologically, that is the big test for the players, to make sure we can travel a distance, then get off the bus and compete straight away.

“I’m quite excited because we go Tuesday away, then we need to recover, show a huge amount of turnaround toughness and endurance toughness, to then go again against Swindon away. It will be three straight away games – I’ll certainly know how well the players can travel at the end of that.”

During Argyle’s fruitful 2021/22 season, they rather successfully married the demands of league and cup action, and Way is keen that this is something that continues into this campaign.

The win at Cheltenham, a very open game played in baking sunshine, was a start to the season that pleased Darren. Now, he says, the task is to keep the standards up.

“To score four goals away from home was very pleasing, although disappointing that we conceded two,” Darren said. “There’s always a bit of nervous energy running through you on a first game with a new group of players, and some expectation from last season, so all in all it was a really good start.

“This is a cup game, so we need to win. We’ve done quite well in previous cups, we want to continue that momentum and it is an opposition we haven’t played before.

“We make sure we do our homework. We watch the opposition, their strengths and weakness, and then put a plan in place.

“Any cup competition, you want to go as far as you can. The more games you win the more exciting it gets. The FA Youth Cup was fantastic campaign that created some great memories for the supporters, the parents and the players. I’m sure that will be the same with this cup.”

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