Albion PL2 boss Richard Beale says his side can’t wait to return to action on Friday night when they face Aston Villa’s youngsters in their opening game of new season at Bodymoor Heath (ko 6pm).
All Category One academies will be competing in the same division this term, meaning the Baggies’ youth products will come up against some of the country’s best talents over the course of the campaign.
It all gets underway for Beale’s men with an exciting local derby clash at Villa’s training facility, and the PDP boss is eager to see his new group of hungry, young hopefuls get off to a winning start.
Beale said: “I’m really excited to get going again, to be out there on Friday and to get our teeth into the new PL2 season.
“There’s lots of different teams who we’re going to play against and we couldn’t have started with a better game. A local derby at Aston Villa, lots of connections between the two clubs, so we’re looking forward to giving it a right go and getting started.
“We’ve been really happy with how the team have shaped up for this season. The lads have trained really hard, have taken on board all the messages we’ve been giving them, and we’ve had some good games during pre-season and we’re ready and raring now.
“It’s just a case of holding the lads back a little bit ahead of Friday and making sure they come out of the blocks fast, and in every game this season, being the best they can be.
“There’s a lot alignment at West Bromwich Albion which is fantastic and that runs right through the Academy and up to the first team.
“There’s lots of room for flexibility within that but any football club will have its principles throughout and we're no different.
“We’re delighted a lot of the boys played in the first team on Tuesday night, many who have been with us over the last couple of years.
“We’re going to be a young team this year and we’re looking forward to seeing the new ones coming through who will, hopefully, emulate some of those boys who are starting to be in and around the first team squad, out on loan, and if we can embody those things then I think we’ll have a really successful season."