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2 August 2017

Latest update from Latics’ academy trip to Holland.

  • Wigan Athletic under-18s currently on LFE trip to Holland.
  • Captain Tom Hilton scores in 1-1 draw with German side VfL Osnabruck.
  • Draw kicks-off fixture programme in the Netherlands ahead of season opener at Blackpool on Saturday 19th August.

After arriving in Delden, in the East of Holland on Monday, Latics’ under-18s played their first game of their Netherlands tour on Tuesday, drawing 1-1 with the under-19 side of VfL Osnabruck.

The match kicked-off at 18.00 with Latics playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation against an older and physically more developed opposition. Nick Chadwick fielding five U18s, five U17s and one U16.

Chadwick’s side began brightly and confidently maintained possession well in the early stages.

The game was interrupted by a lengthy stoppage to allow Latics skipper Tom Hilton to receive treatment, with the centre half recovering to play a vital role in the full game.

Osnabruck grew in strength and dominance as the half went by but the discipline and tempo of Latics’ play reduced the opposition to only a few chances while Latics themselves were only able to threaten through counter-attacks and set-plays.

The second half brought a completely different game for the watching crowd to enjoy which also saw heavy rain throughout. The opposition made a number of changes to their team while the Latics kept faith with the starting XI.

Latics dominated possession and created the most chances in the second half as the game opened up and our superior levels of fitness and physicality became evident. On the hour mark Jo Downey struck a delightful lob from 40 yards which crashed down off the underside of the crossbar having initially won a strong midfield tackle.

Then, following a couple of Latics substitutions, Osnabruck took the lead against the run of play when a rare clever run and cross from the left was headed downwards into the corner giving the excellent Theo Roberts in goal not chance to save.

The young Latics would not allow this setback to disrupt their control on the game and continued to dominate both possession and opportunities and their persistence paid off when, in the final quarter of the half, substitute Mwiya Malumo beat his defender with ease and delivered a perfect cross for captain Hilton to power home a headed equaliser at the back post having stayed in attack from the previous corner.

Minutes later, Latics should have been awarded a blatant penalty when Malumo was fouled only for the referee to wave play on.

By the conclusion of the game Chadwick had made seven substitutions ensuring 18 players gained/experienced competitive action against international opposition.

The game drew to an end as a draw but the level of performance was very pleasing and a solid foundation in which coach Chadwick can build upon for the remainder of the trip as well as the season ahead.

We returned to our training complex in Delden late where the players and staff enjoyed a well-earned dinner and a good night’s rest!

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