Keith Curle has heaped praise on Under-18s head coach Jon Brady for the work he continues to do with the young players coming through Cobblers' academy system.
Curle was in attendance when the U18s came unstuck against Colchester United in the FA Youth Cup at the PTS last Wednesday, beaten 2-1 by the higher-ranked visitors.
But the young Cobblers continue to fly high in the league. They’ve scored 52 goals in 13 games this season and beat Southend 8-5 on Saturday to stay top of the table
“I think the work that Jon Brady does with the players, individually and collectively, is commendable,” said Curle.
“He does excellent work with them and part of their development is getting an understanding of the different shapes and different formations and when to express themselves and how to express themselves in the right areas. It’s about putting all that into a team framework.”
Asked for his observations on last week’s cup defeat, Curle said: “From a purist point of view we knew we were playing against a team that, technically, are probably more advanced than us.
“But we showed good understanding of the team ethic and we looked a team that’s been coached and that was the pleasing thing because it shone through.
“On top of that we also had opportunities to win the game.”
Curle was returning the compliment after the praise he received from Brady last week.
“The hardest thing for a first-team manager, when their job is on the line and they have to get three points week in week out, is to create opportunities for young, inexperienced players,” Brady had said.
“But Keith shows no fear to play these boys. He trusts in the conversations we have and he trusts in the players when seeing them in training and then he gives them the opportunity.
“You can’t ask for more than that. In my opinion he’s a brave manager in terms of playing these lads and giving them an opportunity.
“We couldn’t be luckier as an academy with the manager we’ve got because he’s brave enough to play these boys and give them opportunities in the first-team.”