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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Stoke City Academy Sides Braced For 2014/15 Season's Start

STOKE CITY's Under-21 and Under-18 squads are both preparing to kick off their respective 2014/15 league seasons in the coming days.

Glyn Hodges' development side start with an away game at Aston Villa on Monday afternoon whilst John Perkins' Academy scholars entertain Liverpool at Clayton Wood on Saturday morning.

The visit of the Merseyside club is the first of three consecutive home games that the Under-18s have to start their campaign.

Pre-season preparations have gone well with both age groups enjoying a  training camp on the South Coast and the Under-21s remaining unbeaten through their matches; the Under-18s meanwhile have lost just one of their eight warm-up fixtures.

This follows on from a Stoke City squad reaching the final of the Under-19 Alstatten International Tournament in Switzerland in May.

In recent days the Potters have also seen youngsters head out on loan for valuable first team experience with James Alabi joining League Two Accrington Stanley and Daniel Bachmann heading out to Conference outfit Wrexham.

Academy Director Dave Wright is pleased with the progress being made and is hoping to see the players' development over the summer continue on into the season.

"Overall we are delighted with how pre-season has gone," he said.

"We will find out on Saturday whether we are ready and prepared but we think we are.

"Pre-season is always a busy time for any team and that has been no different for our two older ages groups this year.

"Although you can never read too much into the results, we feel that we are well equipped to take on the new campaign and are looking forward to its start."

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