It’s been a good couple of weeks for United’s promising young defender George Franklin.
Having returned as a third-year-scholar George impressed on the Men’s First Team pre-season training camp in Spain and then returned to score from the spot in the U18 side’s first friendly of the summer at North Leigh on Tuesday evening.
“Going to Spain was a very good experience” he told iFollow. “Obviously being with the first team you realise how much they actually do, how hard they work and the standards they have as a group. But also you have to get up to pace quite quickly, which I feel as if I did, personally. I enjoyed it. Physically it was hard work but pre-season is never going to be easy.
“I was determined to come back in good shape and so I worked hard all summer. I did have a short break but then I was training and in the gym every day because I want to give myself the best possible chance this season.
The Gaffer has been great with me and talks one-to-one with all of us. He takes the time to talk to you and gives you confidence. That’s great as a young lad stepping up. You might feel a bit nervous, but all of the senior players were very welcoming as well".
In turn, George and his age group players like Gatlin O’Donkor and Josh Johnson have been quick to welcome the new intake of First Year Scholars as they start their two-year scholarships with the club
“I just told them “don't take anything for granted” he said. "It feels like yesterday I was in their position. Those two years do go very quickly. So train hard and see every game as an opportunity to express yourself.”
Having skippered a side that combined all three years of scholars on Tuesday, George capped things off with the penalty:
“I just thought “You know, Skipper. I'll take the ball”! It was a good work out and it’s all about getting minutes right now.
The last couple of weeks have gone well but it’s exactly what I told the first years: I’ll take nothing for granted. All I can do is keep working hard and we'll see where that takes me…”
See the whole interview in iFollow