Hunter on U23s unbeaten start

By SFC Media time Sun 09 Sep U 23
Photo by Naomi Baker | Martin Hunter

Technical Director Martin Hunter has heaped praised on the Under-23s' impressive start to the campaign, having last week seen off Colchester United's senior side in the Checkatrade Trophy to extend their six-game unbeaten run.

Radhi Jaïdi's youngsters have netted 11 goals along the way, including four in five for in-form forward Marcus Barnes, and a further three striker for teenager Michael Obafemi.

The maturity of performances has particularly pleased Hunter, who has revealed that this season's early success is a product of years of hard work coming to fruition.

"Six games in and the Under-23s remain unbeaten, which is very encouraging," he began.

"Obviously a really strong performance against Colchester [in the Checkatrade Trophy] the other night.

"Things have started very brightly and hopefully that bodes well for the remainder of the games up until Christmas, and then obviously into the new year. Very Very pleasing!

Marcus Barnes' goal celebration. Southampton U23s v Manchester United U23s, Staplewood Campus, Marchwood, Southampton            Picture: Chris Moorhouse               Friday 24th August 2018             FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Marcus Barnes celebrates netting the opener against Man Utd in PL2

"There's been a lot of work gone into pre-season preparations, which is clearly paying dividends now. But also the recruitment of this group, the hard work around the team from a young age, is starting to come to the fore now."

Hunter also reserved a word for Saints' young players out on loan at various clubs around the country, as well as on the continent.

"We'd hope that the young boys out on loan are beginning to produce a football CV in terms of experience and playing senior football. We'd of course like them to come back more rounded players.

"Hopefully they kick on to then become a part of the first team picture here."

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