Shaun Derry aiming to nurture Cambridge United’s young talent

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 September 2017

Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry.

Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry.

Iliffe Media Ltd

U’s youthful squad will grow together

Unlocking the potential within the Cambridge United squad is the key challenge, according to head coach Shaun Derry.

The U’s have shown what they could be capable of achieving in the last few games, and Derry is focusing on trying to achieve that on a consistent basis.

And he wants that to start at the Cambs Glass Stadium tomorrow (Saturday, September 2), when Colchester visit on the back of a 5-1 win over Forest Green Rovers last weekend and a penalty shootout success over Reading under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

“They are another good team, they had a cracking result last Saturday,” said Derry. “I think if we play like we did on Tuesday night and like we did against Morecambe, we can give Colchester more than a game.

“I don’t want us to look back, I want us to look forward and be excited about what we could be potentially this season.

“And I think that’s the key word, potential, because what we have got is a number of players now in the group who are a great age, and starting to get experience of not just League Two but of Cambridge United.”

Derry highlighted the development at the U’s in the last couple of years, and the number of youngsters in the squad who are just starting to learn their trade, with the line-up for Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy match against Northampton Town being a good example.

“We’ve made a lot of changes over the last two years, but just on Tuesday night for instance, there was a big difference in the type of squads that we had compared to Northampton,” he said.

“They had a very experienced senior group of players for a competition that, with the greatest respect, is not as important as the league.

“But we took eight players who were under the age of 22, and four or five youth-team players were involved. I think for that reason only, it gives us a chance to take stock and have a look at what we’re trying to develop here.

“We’re trying to bring through young players, we’re trying to get young players from different clubs and give them that opportunity and along the way we’ve got to keep our performance levels high.

“And I’m pleased and proud enough to say that is what we’ve delivered.”

Kyle Howkins and David Amoo are both making good progress from their hamstring injuries, with the former more likely to be fit for the weekend than the latter.

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