Club News

Cardiff City's talented under 18 side enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote on Saturday. Read more on days three and four of Anthony Redwood's tour blog below.

Day 3 - Friday 20 July 2012

There was an early start for a morning training session where we were greeted by the entire 'Lanzarote Bluebirds Supporters Club' (Population - three). Berwyn, Gareth and Jenny are avid followers of the Club, although I don't think Jenny really has a choice! They were very excited to see the new crop of talent coming through and will hopefully be cheering us on tomorrow evening.


The session was high-tempo and was demanding for the whole squad as they staked their claims for a starting spot at the beginning of the new campaign. A gym session this afternoon ensured the players stay on top of their own specific weights programmes, a core part of their physical development over the two year Apprenticeship period.

Rhys Carr has monitored player hydration levels on a daily basis, as well as ensuring players heart rates are monitored before, during and after training sessions.Rhys has settled in well during his first official week with us. 

 when speaking to one of the U12 Goalkeepers - "On three, I want you to dive, ok?! Un... Deux... TROIS!!!"Dave understand that Coaching isn't as easy as it looks! Quote of the day from Dave and Liam to coach the two U12 goalkeepers which was a joy to watch. It really helped Dave Richards and Liam Matthews enlisted the help of Lee KendallIn the early evening we went to watch a Puerto Del Carmen U12 training session at the local pitch. 

Something which has impressed the hotel guests and Club Officials is the relationship between players and staff. Not one player retires at the end of the day without shaking hands with each and every staff member - something that has been instilled in all Academy players for years from the ages of 8-21. Some hotel guests have even complimented us (and the players) on their conduct and behaviour, a testament to the strong values we have as an Academy and the inherent good nature of the players within the programme.

 should help - a few stories about the Wimbledon days and his free-kick for us against Leicester City which saved us from 'certain relegation' is maybe all I need....Neal ArdleyAs for me, I've still not slept properly on the trip (not for the last three months in fact), hence the reason I'm writing this at 4.42am. The temperature doesn't help, plus my front door rattles every few seconds with the high winds. Ive got a trick where I jam the dining chair against the handle, something I've now mastered as a fine art. Nevertheless, tomorrow's arrival of room-mate 

Again the hospitality extended to us from the Club Officials and those in the community has been magnificent. The players and staff feel very much at home and we look forward to tomorrow evening's game where we will no doubt face a very challenging test from the Puerto Del Carmen squad.


Day 4 - Saturday 21 July 2012

The players have now acclimatised to the conditions, although the intense heat is quite foreign to most. We will face a team this evening who will be well-accustomed to the conditions so it is imperative that the squad prepares right for the game ahead.

An early morning match preparation session started the day, with a relaxing afternoon away from the sun for all the players. The Coaching staff ensure that we replicate our regular pre-match routine and all players are fully hydrated, together with high energy levels as a result of structured meals throughout the day.

 Richards, Wickham, C Watkins, Yorwerth (c), Owen, Roche, Wharton, O' Sullivan, John, Southam, Hill. Starting XI v Puerto del Carmen: Enzam, B Watkins, Williams, Matthews, Bowen.Subs:

 found the bottom corner of the net with a great strike from outside the box to put us ahead in the early stages.Gethyn. After a good first touch, Gethyn Hill who played the ball round the corner to Macauley Southam stroked a pass into Kane OwenBoth teams started the game well with a high tempo, the home team demonstrating a competitive streak which we knew to expect. On eight minutes, a quick move from the Bluebirds resulted in the first real piece of action; full-back


 then had a long-range shot saved by the goalkeeper.Ben Watkins close range effort being blocked. Yora Enzam'sSoon enough we settled into the game and dominated possession, although a combination of pressure from the opposition and a lapse in decision-making from our players made it hard to build on the early lead. In the latter stages we began to gain momentum and started creating chances - Hill hit the post on seventy minutes, followed closely by

 was on hand to fire home from six yards though, to secure a 2-0 victory in the first of our pre-season games.Tommy O' SullivanThe reward came on eighty-four minutes when the in-form Hill found himself through on goal, rounding the keeper only to see his shot blocked on the line. 


It was important for us to get a result, although the lessons learned will prove the greatest reward. The second year Apprentices led by example and showed their experience in a game that was by no means easy. The younger players gave a good account of themselves, whilst also realising that there are higher standards expected at U18 level as opposed to schoolboy football. They will no doubt use this experience to help them and it is just the start of an important learning curve in their careers.


Josh Yorwerth creating opportunities and staking his claim to lead the front line this season.Gethyn Hillalso made a great contribution on the night, with Kane Owen was given the captains armband for the match and proved he is more than capable of the role. His performance showed leadership, desire, composure and a range of passing that was a pleasure to watch. 

Full credit to Puerto Del Carmen FC for their performance this evening. It is now close-season for them and they have not trained regularly for many weeks, as well as having a number of players away on holiday. Nevertheless, Jack Bolton (U18 Coach) did a great job in rallying a team that showed heart and commitment, as well as being able to keep possession of the ball and cause problems for our players at times during the game.

 in order to take some pictures of them (at their request) while the match was going on - who said footballers are vain eh?! Look out for updated facebook profile pics pretty soon!Gethyn Hill and Yora EnzamTom James was unable to be involved for the match but did a sterling job as cameraman, filming the entire game for match analysis purposes. He also had the mobile phones of 

Lastly, a good crowd of Club Officials, families, hotel guests and even the loyal Lanzarote Bluebirds Supporters Association made for a great atmosphere which was greatly appreciated by players and staff alike.