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Duxbury’s young Eagles ‘train harder than the pros’
Lee Duxbury was disappointed that his side did not perform to their full potential at home last weekend but he feels his young charges are still improving.
The Eagles slipped from second to third after being held to a 1-1 draw by promotion-hopefuls Shirebrook Town. However, with more than two thirds of the season still to play, there are a lot of points still on offer.
Duxbury said: “It was a tough game and you have to hand it to them (Shirebrook) because they came with a plan and probably deserved to win. But our lads never gave up on it and that shows what spirit there is in this squad.
“I think this time last year our lads would have lost that game but they are learning and are getting more used to the physicality of playing in this league.”
The vast majority of Eccleshill’s squad is made up of young players from the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA), most of whom come from the United States.
Eagles head coach Duxbury is also a full-time coach at RIASA and he feels that sometimes the fact that they are students gets forgotten.
“These lads are not full time pros but they do as much on the football side,” said the former Bantams midfielder.
“Training is every day and it is intense. Me and John Hendrie – and even Greg Abbott came in to help out last week – put them through tough sessions. If they were professional players they would get more time off.
“Sometimes I think ‘I’ll give them tomorrow off’ and then I realise I can’t. They train every day from nine in the morning for more than two hours and then they have their lessons in the afternoon.
“That wouldn’t be too bad but they are not getting the rest and recovery time like the pros because they are all young lads and they have a social life. They are living in a different country, different culture and environment and that is as much a part of their development.”
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