Academy manager Mick Leonard was full of praise for the Notts County youth team following the 4-2 loss against Walsall youth team on Friday night.
The young Magpies twice came from behind through a Malachi Lavelle-Moore double to record a 2-2 draw in the Midland Youth Cup Final at the Banks’s Stadium.
County fought out extra time with only 10 men and the Saddlers made the extra man pay, though the vocal away following could not find enough superlatives to describe the effort on display by the under-18s.
“From the day that a boy joins our club, we try to instil in them the importance of what they represent when they wear that black and white shirt,” Leonard told Magpie Player.
“Now we are getting that kind of player here and we’ve seen that on Friday night, because they were fully committed and down to 10 men.
“Some of those boys have run themselves into the ground.
“Even though it’s a disappointing result, I don’t feel down about it.
“I’m very proud of the boys and very proud of the team, as they have worked hard and taken it to 120 minutes.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose the game 4-2 and that flattered them.
“It was a good night and, to be fair to Walsall, they’re a good side but all three of their goals were from set plays.
“In open play, we probably created more chances than they did.
“Set plays win and lose you games and we’ve seen that at all levels of the game.
“We said it before the match and we have to get better.
“I feel disappointed for the boys for the effort that they’ve put in but not I’m not down about it.
“I’m proud of what they’ve achieved in terms of their work rate and commitment to wearing the shirt and that’s what’s important to me.”
It has been a fantastic year for the Academy and you can show your appreciation for the youth team ahead of the first team’s clash with Coventry City later today (Saturday 27 April 2013 – 3pm kick-off).