Cardiff City U-12, U-13 and U-14s make quarter-finals in SpainCardiff City’s Advanced Squad took to warmer climates last week as they took part in the Cotif Youth Cup Gandia in Valencia.
The team, made up of a mixture of U12, U13 and U14 players, took part in the U14 category within the tournament to impressively reach the quarter-final stage against impressive opposition.
The Advanced Squad’s opening match last Tuesday saw City take on the might of Sevilla Fútbol Club, S.A.D in Almoines with the Spanish team coming out on top 2-1 in an equally fought battle, Ben Margetson with City’s goal. After a two-hour rest in the shade, the boys returned to the field of play to take on Club de Fútbol San José as a brace from Keiron Proctor and goals from Rubin Colwill, Sam Bowen and Isaak Davies claimed a 5-1 victory.
A return to Almoines followed last Wednesday with City’s first match coming against the extremely well supported Club Deportivo Loeches. Four fantastic goals for Proctor and a late Davies finish saw Cardiff win 5-0 against the Madrid-based team and set up a crucial final match with hosts UD Almoines.
Both teams went into this game knowing a win would seal second place in the group and a quarter final spot. A spectacular long-range finish from Sion Spence opened the scoring, maintaining this lead until the fifth minute of injury time with the hosts scoring a controversial equaliser. Such is the spirit in this tight knit group, the young side instantaneously scored from kick-off, fantastic one touch football with Isaak Davies tapping home the winner much to the delight of his team-mates and staff with the entire team sharing a touching celebration.
This last gasp victory set up a quarter-final clash for City with Spanish giants Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. The blistering heat of Benirredra, combined with clear age differences between the two sets of players paid dividends with El Submarino Amarillo progressing through to the semi-finals. Despite the defeat, it was a courageous effort from the young Cardiff players in challenging conditions.
Giving his reaction to the tour, Lead Development Coach James Rowberry said: “The experiences the players have gained within the last five days at such a young age has been incredible. Playing foreign opposition, adapting to different climates, being away from home for the first time and adjusting to a variety of styles of play can only improve our players.
“We passed the ball extremely well and maintained possession while scoring thirteen goals in five games. A number of our players were facing opposition two years older within the tournament, challenging our players is key to the Academy’s philosophy and they rose to this challenge superbly in Valencia.”
A final day training session on the beach followed as the boys enjoyed the blistering Valencia sun. The travelling party returned to Cardiff in the early hours of Saturday morning, with the young players getting a well-deserved rest before pre-season starts for the schoolboy programme midway through July. Well done to all involved with this successful international venture.
City’s U11 side also recently returned from a foreign trip, flying to Poland for the Akademia Pilkorska Szydlowiec International Football Tournament. Despite facing tough opposition in Polonia Warsaw, FC Volyn Lutsk and Panathinaikos Soccer Schools as well as a number of other sides, the Cardiff City FC squad emerged victorious, returning to South Wales with the trophy.
CARDIFF CITY SQUAD: Sam Bowen, Oliver Camp, Rubin Colwill, Isaak Davies, Jac Davies, Kieron Evans, Dominic Jefferies, Trystan Jones, Ben Margetson, Rabbi Matondo, Mitchell Osmond, Sam Parsons, Kieron Proctor, George Ratcliffe, Sion Spence, Tom Wright.