Last game will decide youth title
The Youth Alliance League season is all but over for 2015/16. Only one game remains and that will decide the battle for the title between Bury and Wigan Athletic. Both teams won last weekend leaving them one point apart with Wigan having one game remaining against Rochdale.
It looked likely that, should both get the same result in the last games, Wigan would need only a draw against Rochdale to be crowned champions but Bury managed to switch the goal difference in their favour with a big 6-0 win meaning Wigan will now require a victory.
Wigan won 2-0 at Walsall and that would have allowed for Bury to win by anything up to four goals against Fleetwood, but they hit six and so sit top with 61 points ahead of Wigan who are on 60.
It means another close finish between the same two clubs as last year but will Wigan get that victory to prevent Bury from winning the league for a second successive year?
I think the two clubs who can be most pleased this season further down the league are Accrington and Fleetwood. Both are continuing to improve at this level and both have ended the season with 36 points.
That’s more than can be said about our own club. To end the season with nine successive defeats really is embarrassing and it has left us next to bottom in the table. Only Morecambe are below us, and even they’ve got within six points. We are eight points behind Carlisle and a further five points behind Wrexham who are fourth from bottom.
It seems we took the nonsensical statement of it not mattering whether we lost every game at face value. We haven’t picked up a point since and, as I’ve written before, a major overhaul is needed at that level for us to progress.
The decline at youth level since Jason Blake took over in 2011 is horrifying and alarm bells should have been ringing a long time ago. back in 2012, he told me that, under his management, it was now being run professionally. To that I’d say bring back the amateur status then because it was far, far better than it is now.
I believe someone was offered the new academy director role but has declined in favour of a job at a much bigger club than ours. We need to get that position filled very quickly and we need to get this department running at an acceptable level for a club of our stature. Please someone, ring the bells.
All last week’s results are below along with details of the one remaining fixture, our goalscorers this season and the current league table.
Thursday 28th April
Morecambe 0 Port Vale 2
Saturday 30th April
Accrington 1 Tranmere 4
Fleetwood 0 Bury 6
Port Vale 3 Burnley 1
Preston 0 Morecambe 1
Walsall 0 Wigan 2
Wrexham 3 Blackpool 3
Saturday 7th May
Rochdale v Wigan
BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS (League & Cup)
8: Josh Dolling
6: Khius Metz, Tommy Wood
5: Nashé Chakwana
4: Tristan Jumeau
2: Olatunde Bayode, Tyler Shrimpton
1: Miles Fenton, Dwight McNeil, Andy Nugent
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