The Academy 2014/15
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 James McCarthy, 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 2014/15 under 18 squad:
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 U17 level for his country.Rhys is a very competent, tenacious left-back who is particularly adept at one on one situations.
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 second year professional.
Jamie signed his apprenticeship deal at the relatively young age of 15. He has a great deal of pace and is technically very good with a range of ball striking abilities.
Jamie recently recovered from a stress fracture to his ankle and has completed a full rehabilitation programme ahead of his first season in full time football. He has been involved with City’s Academy set up since the age of eight.
A strong and pacey winger/forward, Ellis joined up with City’s Academy at the age of 14.
Like father Craig, Ellis has a keen eye for goal and a tenacious will to win. He was offered a full-time scholarship at the Club in the summer of 2013 and is now in his second year.
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, Tom is known for his crunching tackles and incredible driven shot.
Aidan is relatively new to the Cardiff City setup having joined the club on a trial period back in December, but has made a big impression during this short time.
He has lightning pace and works extremely hard while in the forward positions. Aidan signed a two-year apprenticeship with Cardiff on July 1st 2014.
Lloyd signed his scholarship at the end of the 2012/13 season as an U15, but shortly after suffered a cruciate ligament injury that put him out of action for eight months.
Having returned to training towards the end of 2013/14, Lloyd regained full fitness and began playing once more. He's consistently shown his fantastic passing range and attacking ability since, much to the delight of his coaches and physiotherapists. It is a true testament to Lloyd’s strength of character.
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 will be hoping for a strong second season in Cardiff colours, having recovered from a broken leg suffered towards the end of last season.
Young keeper Joe recently signed a new deal to keep him at Cardiff City for the foreseeable future.
He represented Wales in 2012 and will look to continue improving his ability under the tutelage of City Academy goalkeeping coach Darran Lovell.
Elvis is a quick, strong and aggressive running centre forward. Having been a revelation in the U16 setup, he finished the season as U16 top-scorer.
Elvis works tirelessly in both attacking and defensive situations and loves to stretch defences with his pace. Twin brother of team-mate, Rollin.
Central defender Rollin signed for City as an apprentice ahead of the 2014/15 season, joining twin-brother Elvis in City colours.
A man-mountain of a defender at U18 level, Rollin possesses good technical ability and is a real threat in both penalty boxes. He has been capped by Wales at U16 & U17 levels.
Cardiff-born Abdi linked up with Cardiff City’s Academy back in 2009 after impressing club scouts. He has continued to progress at U18 level, now in his second season.
The young winger/forward scored a standout goal for the U18s versus Millwall in the first few weeks of his apprenticeship, 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.
Shane has been capped by Wales at U16 and U17 levels and signed his Cardiff City scholarship in the summer of 2014.
A strong defender, he has worked hard on his composure in possession of the ball. The Merthyr-born defender is a popular character both on and off the pitch.
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 levels.
Having joined City’s Academy at the age of nine, Tom signed his scholarship deal with the club in the summer of 2013. Now fully recovered from injury, the midfielder will target a big 2014/15 season.
Clinical forward Eli has been with City’s Academy for nine years, signing his apprenticeship deal in the summer of 2013.
Having impressed in his first year as an apprentice, Eli scored nine goals in the club’s FAW Youth Cup run as well as a number of astute finishes in PDL2 South.
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.
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, both of these factors boding well for the young City star.
Christian joined Cardiff City on a two-year apprenticeship contract at the start of the 2014/15 season.
The left-sided midfielder spent his schoolboy years with Arsenal Football Club, and was signed for our U18 side after being spotted by Head of Academy Recruitment, Paul McCarthy. His key attributes include athleticism, power and skill.
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, Jamie 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.Hescored a superb curling effort against local rivals Swansea City in the U18’s 6-1 win back in December.
Luke came into the club on a trial period from Wolverhampton Wanderers in early 2014 and impressed our goalkeeping coaches with his bravery and determination.
The addition of the young stopper will ensure strong competition for the jersey, with Joe Massaro now in his second year.
Second 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 while still eligible to play at U16 level - a glowing tribute to the young forward's ability.
Sam joined Cardiff City at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, leaving Aldershot Town following their decision to finish as an Academy.
Very comfortable in possession having previously played in central midfield, Sam can play competently off both feet. He was part of Wales’ Victory Shield squad for the 2013/14 season.