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11 February 2019

Final game victory against Rochdale saw Latics top their group above Liverpool in the U15 Premier League Floodlit Cup.

  • Latics’ Under 15s defeat Rochdale to qualify for the knockout stages of Premier League Floodlit Cup.
  • Latics won five out of their six games in their group.
  • Victory against Rochdale ensured top spot above Liverpool.

Wigan Athletic Under 15s have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Premier League floodlit cup after defeating Rochdale in their last group game of the competition.

Latics, who have had three games in quick succession, ensured their place in the knock-out stages along with Liverpool, following their 2-0 victory against Rochdale.

Latics last played Rochdale in November in their third game of the group, coming out convincing 4-1 winners to maintain their 100% start to the competition of three successive wins.

Goals from Chris Sze and Kian Monks (penalty) secured their fifth win out of six group games, with the latter playing a pivotal part by scoring four goals so far in the competition.

A hard-fought 2-1 victory before that saw the team do the double over Everton, having previously beat them 1-0 in the first encounter at Finch Farm in November.

Joe Winstanley's opening goal gave Latics an early lead, before Monks’ penalty merited Wigan Athletic with the three points.

Youth Development Phase Coach, Kieran Driscoll said he was pleased with the players performances against a tough Everton side:

“We managed the game well in the last fifteen minutes, it was good from our perspective to get another victory over them as they are a good team”, he said.

“We qualified off the back of that game, it was a scrappy game and the boys had to find a way to win the game. It is promising that we can win games in that manner.”

“Paul O’Brien and Jonathan Crane who work with the group on a day to day basis are doing a fantastic job with the boys development, and we are excited about how the boys are progressing as individuals and collectively.”

Latics were also in action on Tuesday 29 January evening against Liverpool, falling to a 4-2 defeat in their fifth game of the group.

Luke Mariette and Alfie Devine got the goals for Wigan Athletic, though, the hosts took advantage of their pressure to put the game beyond Latics’ reach and were well deserved winners.

History repeated itself again on Wednesday evening as Latics ran out 2-0 winners at the Lancashire FA in Leyland, with goals from Kian Monks and Chris Sze.

Driscoll said he was delighted with his players after qualifying for the knock-out stages as group winners:

“We knew we had to go into the game and get a point to finish group winners, so it was important that we bounced back”, he said.

“Rochdale were a tough opposition, they gave us a few problems early in the game, meaning that we had to re-adjust tactically. I’m incredibly proud of the players for what they’ve achieved from the first six games, that’s for sure.”

With other players also helping to score goals for the team, Driscoll said it was important that the team had goal-scorers across different positions:

“We’ve had goals from all over the pitch, which is pleasing for us, so it’s now just a case of the lads pushing on, making sure we prepare for the next game and go into it full of confidence.

“If we left our foot off the gas like we have, then we will be punished by the stronger teams.

“I know we will use the Liverpool game as a reminder that we need to perform, but I know the lads will stay motivated and focused for the next game and hopefully we can get a good result to push on.”

Further details on Latics’ Under-15’s next opponents for the Premier League Floodlit Cup will be confirmed in due course.

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