The Academy 2015/16
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 2015/16 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 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.
Lewis is an athletic central defender, who is composed and confident in possession. He passes the ball with efficiency and fluency, has an excellent attitude and leads by example on the pitch.
“Balders” also showcased his adaptability in 2014/15, taking up the gloves during the final 10 minutes of a 4-1 Cup win over Cambrian & Clydach after a knock to U18 keeper Luke Wakeman. He is a first year apprentice.
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 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.
Aidan is relatively new to the Cardiff City setup having joined the club on a trial period back in December 2014, but has made a big impression during this short time.
He has lightning pace and works extremely hard while in the forward positions. Aidan is in the second year of his apprenticeship with Cardiff City.
Scott is a well-rounded, confident young goalkeeper with sound handling skills and good decision-making skills under pressure. His distribution is considered to be of out-field quality and Scott communicates positively with the team.
The Swansea-born youngster was also an integral part of the victorious Wales U16 “Victory Shield” squad of 2014 and is a first-year apprentice.
Cameron is an athletic, powerful, modern full back who likes to get forward and play on the front foot.
The Merthyr Tydfil-born youngster is a competent and confident 1v1 defender, Cameron has been at the Academy since the age of seven and has represented Wales at both U16 and U17 level.
“Sparky” is a talented, tricky, athletic attacking midfield player with a creative edge and eye for goal. Since joining the Academy at a young age, Mark has grown into an intelligent, exciting young player and represented the U18’s consistently during the 2014/15 season.
He has also represented Wales at U16 & U17 level, signing his apprenticeship with the Bluebirds in summer 2015.
Lloyd signed his scholarship agreement with the Bluebirds at the age of 15, overcoming a cruciate ligament injury before starting 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. As well as his goal-scoring prowess, the Wales U19 international is known for his long-range passing.
Isaac has been converted into a strong, athletic and robust centre back having previously joined the Academy as a forward.
The Hereford-born youngster has shown his 1v1 dominance and athletic capabilities, acting as a threat in both boxes from set-pieces and chipping in with the odd goal.
Elvis is a quick, strong and aggressive running centre forward. Having been a revelation in the U16 setup, he finished the season as top-scorer in 2013/14.
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.
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.
Ibraim So Sani
A powerful, physical presence and excellent goal-scorer throughout his Academy career, Ibby has a positive work ethic and always causes problems for the opposition.
Ibby is a confident young centre forward, and was part of the Wales U16 Victory Shield winning squad of 2014.
James is a clever and tricky wide player who has an array of tricks and skills to off-balance and beat his opponent.
Although small in stature, James has a robust technical armory, a big heart and an excellent attitude. He was nominated for LFE Club Goal of the Month for February, after completing a wonderful team move
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.
Luke is currently in his second year as an apprentice at Cardiff City, and has played for the U21 & U18 squads in 2015/16.
A combative, powerful centre midfielder, Jarrad has an exemplary array of passing skills and instinctive vision.
His expert delivery from set-pieces and ability to score all types of goals makes Jarrad an influential player for the U18 squad.
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.
Connor joined the Bluebirds Academy in 2012 and has gradually grown into a reliable, composed, consistent central defender. With positive aerial attributes and confident in possession, “Youngy” makes defending look easy and reads the game effectively.
Guarding the Cardiff City goal runs in the Young family, as already shown by Connor’s father, and Bluebirds legend Scott Young.