Richard Beale urging PL2 team for ‘strong finish’ in Hawthorns clash with Leeds United

A photo of Albion U21s boss Richard Beale, in 23/24 black training wear, at the club's training ground going out instructions

Baggies PL2 boss Richard Beale says his group want to end their campaign in the best possible way by claiming three points against Leeds United at The Hawthorns on Monday night (ko 7pm). 

Although four straight defeats have given Albion’s youngsters little to build off in terms of results recently, it’s been a positive campaign for under-18s players stepping into the U21s picture, academy products making senior breakthroughs, and first-year scholars earning professional contracts. 

A photo of Albion youngster Ollie Bostock in front of the Albion Training Ground
17-year-old Ollie Bostock signed professional terms last month

Not to mention productive EFL loans for a number of promising young hopefuls, but for the group currently with Beale and his coaching staff, they are focused on showing their best ahead of the final hurdle of the 2023/24 season.

And Professional Development Phase boss Beale is looking forward the season finale under the lights, with the target of pushing to be “the next” academy player in and around Carlos Corberán’s first team in the near future very much the motivation for his squad.

He said: ”It’s been a really progressive season.

“This U21s role at any club in the country brings its challenges but we’re really fortunate in the role, really fortunate to be working with such good players and in elite environments as well.

“So we’ve all embraced the challenge this year and we’ve gone from playing the second tier of Category One clubs to playing all of the big boys, which is fantastic and sometimes in one-off games, it can be tough to compete. 

A photo of Albion PL2 boss Richard Beale, pictured in a black coat and hat on the touchline during an U21s game v Arsenal
Richard Beale has been pleased with the development his team have shown

“But, on the whole, we have competed and competed well but the most important thing has been the boys showing they can mix it with the best young players at other clubs. 

“We look to those performances and it’s been good to have got some good wins this season for their confidence levels. 

“We’re challenging the boys every day and asking, ‘who’s next, who’s going to get in the manager’s eye-line’, and I can safely say we’e got one or two who are doing that at the moment. 

“It’s really exciting for the is group at the moment, so let’s try and get more, and more, and more in that position. 

“We’ve had some really good development this season and playing against this calibre of opposition has only brought the boys on. They’ve done great and now it’s all about producing a strong finish. 

“Our last three games this season have been against some really big teams. Newcastle, Man City and Leeds; three good academies, three powerhouses in English football and, as I’ve said to the boys, we’ll be aiming to show a high performance level in the final match.”

How to follow the match

Tickets will be available on the gate at The Hawthorns for Albion's PL2 clash against Leeds United on Monday night.

They are priced at £5 adults and £1 concessions and will be available to purchase on the gate on the Halfords Lane side of the stadium.

WBA TV+ subscribers will be able to watch a live stream of the game here from 6.50pm.

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