Sheffield United: Youngsters urged to show steel against Stocksbridge

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough (left) with first team coach Andy Garner � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough (left) with first team coach Andy Garner � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United’s under-18’s squad visits Stocksbridge Park Steels tonight as their preparations for the new campaign gather pace, writes James Shield.

Travis Binnion’s side visit the Look Local Stadium 48 hours after their under-21 counterparts drew with a Sheffield FC team now managed by former DR Congo and Hartlepool chief Mick Wadsworth.

George Willis, Louis Reed and Jamie McDonagh all featured during the game which saw Ben Whiteman and Otis Khan open their pre-season accounts in front of Morgan and United’s assistant manager Gary Crosby.

McDonagh, who recently returned from serious injury, could be selected for international duty when Northern Ireland’s under-20 team faces China, Mexico and Canada in the elite round of the forthcoming Milk Cup.

United have entered a team in the junior section where they were paired with Liverpool, Donegal Schools and O’Higgins of Chile in the opening draw.

Speaking ahead of this evening’s fixture against Stocksbridge, manager Nigel Clough said: “There often tends to be one player who forces themselves into senior contention at this stage. That’s why we take a lot of notice about performances, no matter what the level, because if someone shows they are good enough then they’ll get an opportunity.”

Stocksbridge expect to include Nathan Joynes, Lee Garside, Liam Flynn, Cole Payne and Ben Turner, previously of Mansfield Town, in their starting eleven.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1