BLUEBIRDS YOUTH STEPPING UP
City DVP/U21 fielded four U18s on Monday evening
Cardiff City’s PDL2 South season drew to a close on Monday evening at Cardiff City Stadium (see below for match report and highlights).
The DVP/U21 Bluebirds and Ipswich Town drew 0-0 on the night, though there were plenty of positives to take – not least the involvement of a number of younger age-level starlets.
– the defender particularly impressing in his first start at DVP/U21 level.Rhys Abbruzzese and 17 year-old Wales U17 international Ashley Baker, Robbie Patten, Abdi Noor The starting eleven was completed by U18 players Tyler Roche. and Curtis Watkins, Macauley Southam, Ben WatkinsJoining the more established names of Nicky Maynard, Maxi Amondarain and Ben Wilson were DVP/U21 mainstays
reflected on the progression of the DVP/U21 Group, saying: “I was particularly pleased to see a number of our U18s stepping up to U21 level on Monday night – this bodes very well ahead of the summer and as we look towards next season.Cardiff City CEO Ken ChooSpeaking post-match,
“The young players are playing with pace and energy which is what we are looking for from our next generation. We are keen to see constant improvement amongst players moving up within our system.
“As a Football Club we are thoroughly committed to investing in our youth and age level setups. The success of Cardiff City’s Academy speaks for itself, continuing to thrive due to the diligence and commitment of our coaches and educators.
“We’re extremely proud to watch a number of our Academy graduates excel at the very highest levels of the British game - but it is our intention, in the near future, to see new, young talent breaking through into senior football at Cardiff City."
Cardiff City U21 Manager, Kevin Nicholson, added:"Monday night was another positive step forwards in the right direction within the strategy of ensuring that we develop and progress the talented young players at the Football Club.
“To look out and see that eight out of our starting 11 were U19 - which included four U18 players and an U17 player (first year scholar) making his first ever appearance at U21 level - was great for all of us to see.
“The experiences these boys are being given and the challenges they are facing now will allow them to progress quicker. This is all very positive moving into next season and beyond.”
CARDIFF CITY v IPSWICH TOWN - 27th April, 2015
Report: Sam Roberts
Cardiff City's U21/DVP side finished the 2014/15 season with a goalless draw against Ipswich Town, following a true battle between the two young teams at Cardiff City Stadium.
Kevin Nicholson fielded a youthful Bluebirds line-up for this match. U18 stars Ashley Baker, Robbie Patten and Abdi Noor started for the home team alongside Wales U17 international Rhys Abbruzzese, who was making his first start at U21 level. Experienced forward Nicky Maynard led the line for City in an attempt to gain further match fitness.
Early Bluebirds dominance
The young Bluebirds began the match strongly, and two early Macauley Southam crosses threatened to trouble the away defence. Southam was a key part of each attacking move the home side put together in the first half; his low cross on 14 minutes was diverted towards goal by Tyler Roche, with keeper Michael Crowe pulling off a smart save.
Welsh goalkeeper Crowe proved to be a thorn in the side of Cardiff City throughout, and he was called into action twice in quick succession. Abdi Noor tenaciously robbed defender Joe Robinson just inside the penalty box before firing towards goal, Crowe with a strong reaction save on 16 minutes. Nicky Maynard was next to attempt to break the deadlock on 18 minutes, forcing Crowe into another impressive stop.
With the hosts in the ascendency, City shot stopper Ben Wilson had a quiet start to the game. The 22-year-old showed his keeping abilities though on 25 minutes with a comfortable stop as former Crystal Palace man Darren Ambrose took aim from 30-yards. Across the first 45 minutes, Ambrose proved to be a goal threat for the travelling Tractor Boys, but neither the strong Bluebirds nor the away team could find an early advantage.
A Midfield battle
This U21 clash slowed somewhat after the restart, with heavy half time showers taking their toll. Both midfields fought hard in an attempt to control the game’s flow, though Nicholson’s side continued to look dangerous from set pieces with Ashley Baker’s 47th minute headed effort going close. Maxi Amondarain had another headed chance just before the hour mark, but the ball glanced wide following a well-taken corner kick from Noor.
Three first year professional midfielders combined on 66 minutes in arguable the move of the match. Tyler Roche’s pace was a constant worry for the Ipswich defence during this one, with the young winger beating three Town players before setting the ball for teammate Ben Watkins just outside the box. Watkins’ shot was saved well by Crowe, with Southam’s follow-up just inches wide of the left post.
City undoubtedly had the better chances in this clash, with Ipswich’s only opportunities coming from long range – and the right boot of Darren Ambrose. Ambrose’s strike from distance with five minutes remaining failed to test Wilson – it proved the last play of note.
Cardiff City: Rees, James, Wharton, Phipps.Subs Not Used: Wilson, Baker, Abbruzzese, B. Watkins, Amondarain, C. Watkins, Southam, Patten, Roche, Maynard (Johnson, 61), Noor.
Ipswich Town: Blanchfield.Subs Not Used: Crowe, Hewitt, Kenlock, McLaughlin, Robinson, Clarke, Hammond (Emmanuel, 66), Benyu (Ramadan, 76), Patterson (Guldbrandsen, 66), Ambrose, Henshall.