WITH the new season looming Barry Youth travelled to Cowbridge for their first pre-season friendly.

Having struggled to fulfil fixtures last season the Youth squad has been swollen with 15 new players who have come up from Barry’s successful U16 team and a handful of players from Dinas Powys whose Youth team unfortunately folded last year.

So with 22 available players the short trip down the Vale was a chance for the squad to get to know each other and start to build on the new foundation that new coaches Dai Griffith (former U16s and 1st XV coach), Chris Cummings (former Barry No 10 and 1st XV Captain) and Marc Carter (former Barry player and current analyst for The Scarlets) are now putting in place.

“Last year’s Youth players have shown a real commitment to the Club and with the arrival of new talent and a dedicated coaching team this season looks to be a turning point for Barry Youth” said Team Manager Ioan Evans. “ Today a number of senior players, Committee members, stalwarts of Barry RFC, parents and supporters have come down to Cowbridge to show that they are behind this new set up as the season approaches,” he added.

It was agreed that the teams would play three 20 minute games to give all players an outing and allow the respective coaching teams to observe and assess their players. While Cowbridge may have had the upper hand in terms of continuity and depth Barry made up for this with tenacity, commitment and sheer doggedness. And despite losing the three short games 5-0, 12-0 and 5-0 against an opposition peppered with Blues squad players and the odd Welsh cap they did themselves, the Club and the town proud.

“What those players did today was tremendous in terms of putting a marker down for the season ahead,” said Griffith. “We’ve purposely arranged pre-season games against opposition that are higher up the league than Barry in order to gauge the standard of technical skill, ability and of course commitment from the squad and this afternoon’s shift clearly gives the Coaching Team a firm platform to build on. A very good performance all round.”

Ioan Evans

BRFC Youth Team Manager