The Academy 2013/14
An Academy is not just a building, group of young players and coaches or a scheme. It encompasses all of these things, but more importantly it is a philosophy, a culture and a way of doing things.
Cardiff City Football Club has always been centred around the local community. The great players and teams throughout the Club's history have been built on local boys and local talent. We have a proud history of nurturing young stars of the future and continue to maintain our commitment to youth development by doing it in the correct way.
Under the guidance of Academy Manager Dick Bate, the Academy identifies, recruits and coaches aspiring professionals so as to maximise their potential under the very best professional development programmes. In addition to their football development, we work closely with schools and colleges to ensure that our players receive the very best education during their time with the club - a culture overseen by Education and Welfare Manager, Steve Ellis.
Those who make the grade at the end of their school-boy days are offered every chance of breaking into the first-team. Those who don't make the grade are given the correct support for pursuing their careers elsewhere, be it in, or outside of the football environment.
Below are brief profiles of our 2013/14 under 18 squad.
Welsh Youth International Ashley joined up with Cardiff at the U14 level and has been a key player in the heart of the Academy’s defence since.
The Bridgend-born defender signed a scholarship deal with City in the summer of 2013 and is now a first year professional.
A strong and pacey winger/forward, Ellis joined up with City’s Academy at the age of 14.
With a keen eye for goal and a tenacious will to win, Ellis was offered a full-time scholarship at the Club in the summer of 2013.
Powerful midfielder Budgie started his time with City at the age of eight and has been a key player for Cardiff at each age group.
Having been utilised in a holding role in the centre of City U18s midfield this term, Tom is known for his crunching tackles and incredible driven shot.
Congo-born Yora is a pacey centre-forward who contributed greatly to Cardiff City's successful U16 campaign of 2011/12.
With the ability to take on board information and utilise it on the field, Yora is benefitting significantly from the full-time training that he has received at USW Sports Park in the past year.
Tom enjoyed a very impressive 2011/12 U16 season and has really progressed over the past twelve months. He is comfortable playing in either full-back position and has shown composure in central defence when called upon.
While his main expertise is defending, Tom fired in two incredible goals for the U18s as Cardiff defeated local rivals Swansea City 3-1 in October.
Northern Ireland U17 International Lavery signed for City from Glenavon on July 31st 2012 after scoring prolifically at youth levels in his home country.
Gary has continued his progression since joining City, recently starring and scoring for City U18 in their 6-1 demolition of Treowen Stars in the FAW Youth Cup First Round.
Young keeper Joe recently signed a scholarship deal to keep him at Cardiff City for the foreseeable future.
Joe represented Wales in 2012 and will look to continue improving his ability under the tutelage of City Academy goalkeeping coach Darran Lovell.
Cardiff-born Abdi linked up with Cardiff City’s Academy back in 2009 after impressing club scouts. He has continued to progress in his first season at U18 level.
The young winger/forward scored a standout goal for the U18s vs Millwall earlier in the campaign, a quite exquisite finish that any forward would be proud to score. Despite still being eligible to play for Wales U17s, Abdi is already playing at U19 level for his country.
Tel Aviv-born Nathan joined Cardiff in September 2012 as a sixteen year old.
A young man with undoubted potential, Nathan has been unlucky with injuries since joining City. He remains a popular figure in the dressing room though, with high hopes for him from staff and players alike.
A tenacious central midfielder, Robbie has spent ten years with City’s Academy and has been a regular in the middle of City's U18 midfield this term.
Robbie has reached the highs of playing at Wembley already, while having conquered a broken leg in the process of earning a scholarship at Cardiff City in the summer of 2013.
Newport-born Tom can play a number of positions on the right side, filling in at right back when needed.He has played for Wales at U16 and U17 level.
Having joined City’s Academy at the age of nine, Tom signed his scholarship deal with the club in the summer of 2013.
A clinical forward, Phipps has been with City’s Academy for nine years, signing his apprenticeship deal in the summer of 2013.
Eli has impressed in Cardiff U18s two FAW Youth Cup matches this term, firing a superb hat-trick in the 1st round win against Treowen Stars before scoring both goals as City beat local side Newport County in the 2nd round. A Wales U17 international.
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 signed a first year scholarship deal with the Bluebirds in the summer of 2013.
Bridgend-born Tyler is an exciting wide midfielder who can beat any defender on his day with quick feet and explosive pace.
A very modest, unassuming individual, he has added a new dimension to our U18 attacking play and now enters his second season at this level.
Macca is a Cardiff lad who can play in a number of positions in midfield, with the ability to find good areas on the pitch to make himself available.
An experienced Apprentice this season, Macauley has been chosen as captain of the U18 squad for the 2013/14 campaign.
Local lad Will is relatively new to City’s Academy setup, having joined back in 2012. However, he has made quite an impression in such a short space of time, signing a scholarship deal with Cardiff in summer 2013.
Will is known for his determination and will to win, each of these factors boding well for the young City star.
Congo-born Tutonda only joined Cardiff City’s Academy back in October 2012, but has made significant progression in his short time with the club.
The left-sided player is astute whether playing in defence or on the wing and scored a crucial equaliser in the U18 derby match with Swansea City in October 2013.
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.
After signing a scholarship this summer with City, Veale and his team-mates had the honour of playing a match against Cardiff’s first team, much to the delight of the Merthyr-born man who is a lifelong Bluebirds fan.
Ben is a whole-hearted midfielder who shows commitment in everything he does, both on and off the pitch.
He has become a prominent part of the u18 setup this season after having played at this level on a number of occasions last term. A tenacious and determined ball-winner who adds genuine strength to our midfield.
Curtis is a highly-rated central defender who has represented Wales in the Victory Shield and at U17, U18, and U19 levels. He shows athleticism and composure and has continually proven himself able to cope with the best strikers at U9-U16 level.
Curtis is relishing the opportunity of tackling the physical element of U18 football this season as his promising development continues.
First year professional Jake started his City career in 2009, and was given an apprenticeship with the club during the summer of 2013.
The Newport-born striker scored his first goal at U18 level against Charlton Athletic during the 2012/13 season when still eligible to play at U16 level, a glowing tribute to the young forward's ability.
A modest and humble character who shows a quiet confidence whenever he plays. Brad is a very solid, consistent and dependable full-back or central defender who excels at the Academic element of the Apprenticeship programme as well as on the field.
Aberdare-born Brad has also represented Wales at age levels.