The opening weekend of the 2022/23 campaign in England saw action for six of our youngsters out on loan, including a goal for one defender and two senior debuts…
We begin our weekly round-up for the season with a focus on the EFL, which began in earnest this weekend despite the unusually early July start time. Dutch defender Ian Maatsen took the headlines with a match-winning display for a revitalised Burnley side under the new management of former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
Kompany’s Clarets have been transformed from previous iterations of the Turf Moor team and registered 69 per cent ball possession and 16 efforts away at Huddersfield Town on Friday night in the Championship campaign curtain-raiser.
Despite that, the only goal of the game came 18 minutes in when 20-year-old Maatsen, who spent last season on loan at Coventry City, curled in a fine right-footed strike to break the early deadlock.
Having initiated the attack with a familiar burst forward down the left from halfway, the full-back continued his run having played the ball into the box and then reacted quickest to steer it beyond Lee Nicholls in the Terriers goal.
The Dutch Under-21 international then played his part in a solid rearguard display as Burnley kept a clean sheet to ensure a winning return to the second tier, helping to repel the efforts of Tino Anjorin after the midfielder’s introduction for the final 33 minutes.
In League One, there was a professional debut for teenage goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom as he helped Peterborough United to a 3-2 opening day win at Cheltenham Town.
The Posh had fallen 2-0 down by half-time as an own goal and a defensive error handed the hosts an advantage but a fightback after the break helped Grant McCann’s side secure all three points.
Also on debut was Sam McClelland, who started at right-back for Barrow as they recorded a 3-2 victory of their own in League Two away at Stockport County. The defender, who made his first senior appearance for Northern Ireland back in June, played the duration at Edgeley Park.
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It was defeat for two of our loanees at MK Dons as they were beaten 1-0 by Cambridge United on the opening weekend in League One. Jamie Cumming, who spent the second half of last season in Buckinghamshire, started between the posts but couldn’t keep out the only goal of the game, squeezed low into the bottom corner by Harvey Knibbs.
MK Dons, who also featured former Blues Josh McEachran and Dan Kemp in their starting 11, had earlier struck the woodwork but were unable to find a route back into the game after falling behind. Henry Lawrence made his first appearance for the club at right-back and played the opening hour.
In Norway’s top flight, Bryan Fiabema started once again for Rosenborg as they won 3-2 at Odd to continue an unbeaten July. The league campaign runs through the summer in Scandinavia and our young striker has featured in all five matches this month as Rosenborg move up to fourth, three points off a Europa Conference League qualifying berth.