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:
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 recent seasons, taking up the goalkeeping gloves during the final 10 minutes of a 4-1 Cup win over Cambrian & Clydach. He is a second year apprentice.
Jack is a strong towering central defender, who has been involved with the Cardiff City Academy since U14, progressing through the Cardiff City FC Advanced Development Centre in Newport. The Newport-born defender has represented Wales at international youth level. His two-year apprenticeship will run until June 2018.
Warren is new to the Cardiff City Academy setup, having signed his two-year apprenticeship after completing the schoolboy programme at Norwich City. The talented young goalkeeper from Gorleston, Norfolk, will share U18 goalkeeping duties for the season with Scott Coughlan.
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 is a second-year apprentice at Cardiff City Football Club.
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 youth international 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 has represented the U18’s consistently since his schoolboy days.
He has also represented Wales at youth international level, and is a second-year apprentice.
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.
Alfie signed his apprenticeship with the Bluebirds on July 1st, having previously played for West Ham United. The young defender is confident in central defensive and full-back positions.
Keiron has been with the Bluebirds since the age of eight, and starts his two-year apprenticeship as of July 1st. A young winger/attacker, Keiron has also represented his country at youth levels, lifting the Victory Shield with Wales in 2014 & 2015.
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
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.
Cai signed his first Academy registration at the age of eight, and has progressed through the system alongside Keiron Proctor. He is a confident full-back, and Welsh youth international.
Laurence is another new face for the young Bluebirds, having joined from Stoke City this summer. The young midfielder, known for his creativity, will be looking to cement his place in the U18 starting eleven ahead of the coming campaign.
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.