Last night was the first chance for fans to have a good look at some of the new faces that have arrived in the academy and development squad and it was interesting to see the blend with local and more well-known faces already here.
Trialists took to the field along with the likes of Romario Vieira and Jack Mckay. On the bench were new men Alejandro Machuca and Adrain Balboa, the latter arriving from Barcelona’s under 19 side. The first half was pretty even and Carlos Corberan was very vocal on the touchline throughout, constantly on the side of the pitch roaring instructions to his new team. The most interesting of them was after a wayward shot from the Leeds left back, which he didn’t like. He shouted “No, no” making it very clear he wanted the ball passed wide in that situation. Tadcaster went a goal up, Paudie O’Connor unable to stop a nice through ball and the striker swept home.
The second half first saw the introduction of Jamie Shackleton, among others before both Adrian Balboa and Alex Machuca came on. The right back, Gotts grew into the game and with Machuca now dominating the ball with powerful and clever runs Leeds looked to carve a very well organised Tadcaster side open, with quick two-touch football in and around the box. Balboa made some very clever runs but his team-mates weren’t really on that level yet, and would often turn out. Youngster Nicell came on and impressed with the ball, Shackleton’s equaliser the only goal of the second half.
The gulf between some of the older player and new was blatant and it is very clear why Leeds are spending money and time bringing in players and coaches to the development side at the moment, as only a few looked anywhere near the standard of Machuca and Balboa. Vieira, Nicell and Gotts did impress, along with Shackleton and they will only benefit from the new talent arriving through the door, raising the standards vastly in the younger ranks at Leeds United. In terms of stand out, Machuca was out on his own, Vieira behind with the others, but a very encouraging outing for the new lads.