Development Squad 2016/17
Now it its fifth season under the templates set out by the EPPP (Elite Performance Player Plan), Cardiff City Football Club has a Development Squad, consisting primarily of players under the age of 23.
It's aim is to help bridge the gap for young players between the Academy and First-team setups, with the examples of Declan John and Kadeem Harris highlighting its recent success.
The Development squad also serves as an excellent platform for players on the fringe of the first-team or those returning from injury to gain invaluable competitive game time.
Cardiff City DVP competes in the Professional Development League 2. The squad finished as divisional Champions at the end of the 2013/14 competition.
Brief profiles on those forming the core of our Development Squad this season are below:
One of the first FA Elite Coaches in Great Britain, Kevin graduated with the FA Elite Coaches Award earlier in his career as one of the World’s top 16 young coaches. A holder of the UEFA ‘A’ Licence qualification, he was selected by the LMA to be part of its Leadership Education Programme.
Prior to becoming Cardiff City U18s Manager in 2013, Kevin enjoyed successful spells with Derby County, Stoke City and Exeter City. He has been instrumental in the development of a number of young players who now play regularly in the Barclays Premier League and Sky Bet Championship – a key factor, along with his exemplary track record, in the decision to appoint him in this critical role.
Rhys joined Cardiff City's Academy at U9 level and has been capped by Wales in the Victory Shield during the past two seasons.
He has also been capped at U19 level for his country. Rhys is a very competent, tenacious left-back who is particularly adept at one on one situations. Rhys has played at U18 and U21 level for the Bluebirds during the 2015/16 campaign, and has already signed his first professional deal with Cardiff City for the 2016/17 season.
Welsh Youth International Ashley joined up with Cardiff at the U14 level and has been a key player in the heart of the Academy/Development defence since.
The Bridgend-born defender completed a scholarship deal with the Club at the end of 2014/15, and is now in his second year as a professional.
Jamie has a great deal of pace and is technically very good with a range of ball striking abilities.
Jamie overcame a stress fracture before starting his apprenticeship. He has been involved with City’s Academy set up since the age of eight. Following a stand-out 2015/16 campaign, Jamie recently signed his first professional deal with Cardiff City Football Club.
Jordan joined Cardiff City in the summer of 2015 after a successful trial.
Prior to signing for the Bluebirds, central-defender Blaise spent his youth career with French giants FC Girondin De Bordeaux.
Oliver is a young goalkeeper, signed in summer 2016 after completing his apprenticeship with Premier League giants Manchester United.
He will share goalkeeping duties with Luke O'Reilly at U23 level for the 2016/17 season.
Lloyd is now a first-year professional, after completing his two-year apprenticeship.
The Neath-born midfielder has scored a number of exceptional goals throughout his time with Cardiff City, including a double against Bristol City in the FA Youth Cup Third Round in December 2015 as well as a superb long range wonder strike against Sheffield United in March 2016. Goal-scoring prowess aside, the Wales U19 international is known for his long-range passing.
Central defender Rollin is now in his first-year as a professional at Cardiff City.
A man-mountain of a defender, Rollin possesses good technical ability and is a real threat in both penalty boxes. He has been capped by Wales at youth international level.
Luke joined up with the Bluebirds from the Nike Academy in summer 2015. The confident 19 year-old shot stopper has previously had spells with West Ham United and Peterborough, signing a professional deal with Cardiff City after a successful trial.
A tenacious central midfielder, Robbie has spent ten years with City’s Academy and captained the Cardiff City U18 squad in 2014/15.
Robbie has reached the highs of playing at Wembley already, while he also represents Wales at U19 level.
Clinical forward Eli has been with Cardiff City for ten years, completing his apprenticeship deal in the summer of 2015.
Having impressed as an apprentice and in his opening year as a professional, he has recently signed a new contract.
An energetic right-sided defender, Dylan joined up with Cardiff City’s Academy at the under 11 stage and has been a key part of each age group he has been involved with.
Originally from Tenby, Dylan was a key part of the U18 squad throughout his years as a scholar, before breaking into the U21/DVP setup at the end of his apprenticeship. Dylan is a second year professional at Cardiff City.
'Macca' is a Cardiff lad who can play a number of positions in midfield and has an ability to find good areas on the pitch to make himself available. He was chosen as captain of the U18 squad, before shining during his first two campaigns at U21 level, moving into the third year of his professional contract with Cardiff City.
Central midfielder Veale joined up with Cardiff City at U10 level and has worked extremely hard to get to the level he is at today.
He signed a first year pro deal with the Club, and has a history of scoring exceptional goals. Veale netted a long range winner for the U18 side against Charlton in the FA Youth Cup in 2014, before adding a special free kick in the next round at Burnley. Always a threat from set pieces.
Belgian U19 international Marco Weymans joined up with the Bluebirds in summer 2015.
Weymans, who has captained his country at youth level, has been a key part of the Cardiff City U23 side since arrival, playing in the centre of midfield.