NEW COLLEGE academy director Ian Howell said his side will be prepared as if they’re playing in a cup final for their Hellenic League Division One West match with North Leigh.

Howell said the students are always prepared in the same way for their games at an intensity level that they would want if they were preparing for a big game.

The New College students have competed well in Division One this season and are comfortably clear of the bottom of the table. An impressive achievement given the side’s relative inexperience compared to the other teams in the division.

Howell, speaking ahead of the Students’ trip to Eynsham Park, said his side would be sent out having been prepared to his and the other coaches usual high standards.

“They knew their performance last week perhaps didn’t deserve a win but definitely deserved a draw, all in all they’ve been bright in training and have been positive going into it,” said Howell “From our part we’ll prepare the same way and getting our lads to concentrate on what we want them to do, we’d prepare the same way whether it was we’re playing a friendly or a cup final.”

Howell thinks his group of youngsters have been improving their game know-how this season, learning from their coaches and the more experienced sides they line up against.

“I think that the group we’ve got now are getting that game experience you get from adult football. They played together at under-18s and they’re slowly getting grips with the difference from Hellenic league to under-18s football.

“It’s when they go against the principals we try and teach them of playing attacking football and playing from the back, that we find it hard, as much as you can try and influence the game from the dugout you can’t always do it.

“The challenge is when we have to balance off our principals and when we have to mix it, to try and stretch teams and control the games in different ways.”