Avenell loving life at Gloucester City this season and happy to play new style of football

Gloucester City goalkeeper Alex Avenell says he is loving his football after making a solid start to the season with in their U21s side, as well as being named in the First Team matchday squad earlier in the campaign.

Avenell, a product of the Cheltenham Town Academy, is one of many young players to have switched from playing step 5 or 6 football to play for City’s U21s for the 2021/22 season and he told Severn Sport that it is bringing the best of him.

“I am absolutely loving my football at the moment,” said Avenell. “Our performances in the U21s this season as a team have been good and we play a good style – which I have enjoyed being part of so far!

We have had some great team performances already this season and have some great players in the squad. It is probably the first squad I have been part of where I think everyone is good enough to be in the starting XI and our results show that.

I think a lot of the players we have could have bright futures for Gloucester City if we carry on pushing each other and improving in training and taking it into matches too,” added the former Tuffley Rovers keeper.

Avenell first came onto the Severn Sport radar during the 18/19 season when he was playing for Cheltenham Town U18s and since then he has gone on to play for Tuffley Rovers and Shortwood United within the Hellenic League before a stint with Kidderminster Harriers U21s and a subsequent return to Gloucestershire football with Gloucester City.

There has been debate however about whether it is better for younger players to play in the Midland Football League’s South West U21 League over the likes of the Hellenic League on a Saturday, but given that by being at City, Avenell has been named in the First Team squad for a couple of recent matches as cover, is the standard of football actually better for young players?

“It’s been a good mixture of quality,” Avenell said. “I’ve played Hellenic Football around this area, which was great for me because it allowed me to understand the physical part of the game as a 16-17 year old lad.

But the U21s has helped me more on the technical side of my game, so it is hard to compare as they have both been really good experiences for me and my development,” added Avenell.

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Last weekend Avenell kept a clean sheet as Gloucester City U21s took apart his former side Kidderminster at Meadow Park, 9-0 and the keeper was utilised as a sweeper keeper and encouraged to take up a high starting position when City had the ball at the back – which is something we hadn’t seen of the young keeper before.

Talking to Severn Sport about his season so far Avenell has praised those within the First Team and U21s side who have helped him enjoy the start to this campaign.

“I’ve loved working with Coley [Jake Cole] and Liam [Liam Armstrong] in the First Team as they are both top goalkeepers and have been really supportive in my development so far this season.

Also just getting to work with players at National League North level has been great exposure for me.

When it comes to the U21s though, working with Robbo [U21s Manager Craig Robinson], Jase [U21s Assistant Manager Jason Radford] and Ian Mills the goalkeeping coach has helped me really enjoy my football again this season because they are all really good coaches and get us to play the right way,” Avenell added.

Gloucester City U21s are in action this weekend when they head to Redditch United U21s before hosting Silhill U21s at Meadow Park on Saturday 30th October

READ MORE: Check out the full list of results in and around Gloucestershire this weekend right here

Cover Photo taken by Neil Phelps. To view all of his great Gloucester City images please visit his Flickr page by clicking here