Second-year scholar Keegan Green said it was a tough first game back as the Under-18s faced Bradford City in pre-season.
Despite Ronnie Kelly netting for the Tigers, three different Bradford scorers saw the reigning EFL Youth Alliance North East champions win 3-1 at Bishop Burton College.
“It was a tough game,” said Green. “First half, we weren’t really on it; we weren’t aggressive enough and was not on the front foot.
“Second half we played a bit better. We showed more aggression and were able to get a goal from that, and for me to get 60 minutes into the legs was good on a personal note.
“There are improvements to be made and I think the new structure from the manager is going to come in which we’re all looking forward to.
“We’ll work on that when we go to Portugal and see if we can bring it into our game for the new season.”
Despite the defeat, two Under-16s would feature in the side as well as 12 of the 13 new first-year scholars for the 2022/23 season.
Now heading into a two-week trip to Portugal, Green is looking forward to the trip as well as praise the new first-years for how they have applied themselves since arriving into the academy full-time.
“I think they’ve settled in really well,” explained Green. “They all talk and ask what is happening and what they want to do, and as second-years we have to lead them and help them out as much as we can.
“We’re looking forward to Portugal. We know the camp is going to be tough and the games are going to be tough as well.
“We know we’ve got to work hard and get through it. We want to improve our fitness and get closer as a team by playing as a unit and try and build the team chemistry.”