Cardiff City’s U23 squad face Barnsley at Cardiff International Sports Campus for their second Professional Development League Two fixture of the 2018/19 campaign on Monday, 20th August – 1pm kick-off.
Jarred Harvey’s side took a tough but valuable learning experience from their first competitive game of the season, against Burnley U23 at Turf Moor on Monday, 13th August. The Clarets included four First Team players in their starting XI; 2017/18 Championship top scorer, Matěj Vydra, former City goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Republic of Ireland international Kevin Long and defender Ben Gibson. Meanwhile, City named three Trialists in their youthful starting line-up.
The young Bluebirds will look to implement the lessons learned from that encounter at home to the Tykes. For those wishing to attend, the match is free entry and will be played on the outer grass pitch at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Know your opponent
Founded in 1887, Barnsley Football Club compete at Oakwell, which has been their only ground with a capacity of just over 23,000. However, the Tykes U23 side additionally play at Grove Street, also known as Oakwell Academy.
38-year-old Martin Devaney was appointed the Colliers U23 Head Coach in June 2018 following Paul Harsley’s departure to Manchester City.
On Friday, 10th August, the Reds kicked off their League campaign with a 2-2 draw against Queens Park Rangers at Oakwell. First-half goals from Jared Bird and Tai-Reece Chisholm gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. Although, the Hoops fought back after the interval with Charlie Wakefield and substitute Ody Alfa scoring. The visitors were unlucky not to claim all three points as Jake Greatorex saved a late Arimide Oteh penalty.
City will be determined to get their first points of the season on the PDL2 South table against PDL2 North’s eighth-place team.
Last time out
The young Bluebirds last met the Tykes on 16th April, 2018 in PDL2 action at Oakwell and from a dramatic late finish in South Yorkshire, the affair concluded in a 1-1 draw.
City dominated possession throughout the encounter and James Waite came close to breaking the deadlock just after the hour mark. The winger’s effort from range was tipped over the bar by the trialist goalkeeper.
After 81 minutes, the hosts were awarded a penalty as a trialist went down in the box. Victor Adeboyejo stepped up to strike his 14th goal of the campaign, giving his side a late advantage.
However, the young Bluebirds did not give up and fought until the end, securing an equaliser after eight minutes of injury time. Jarred Harvey’s side were unlucky on a few occasions before trialist Jason Akiotu levelled the scoring to earn a deserved point.
Cardiff City U23 Head Coach, Jarred Harvey spoke to cardifficityfc.co.uk prior to the second PDL2 fixture of the season, reflecting on Burnley and discussing the match ahead.
“We can’t help but learn from the experience of playing at Turf Moor,” began Jarred. “Burnley had a number of experienced First Team players and that’s what our boys are aspiring to become.
“Hopefully every game will be as challenging as last week. The tempo and quality were excellent; it was a proper game, something we wish to expose our players to every week.
“On an individual level, both Jacob Evans and Cameron Coxe were excellent in the game. Jack Bodenham who is still only 18 years old and Ciaron Brown, who was playing non-league football six months ago, got to test themselves against last season’s Championship top scorer. They can only learn from those opportunities.
“We've reviewed last week’s game and spoken about the challenges it posed. Barnsley gives us the opportunity to learn and go again. Clearly, we prepare to win games but the main objective is to ensure the players show progress and play with real effort, improving every week. It has to be about performances and high standards on the pitch."
Harvey concluded: “For Barnsley, we are hopeful to have Ibrahim Meite back from injury and he’s looked excellent in training. Also, we’re looking at a couple of trialists, who have impressed us in previous games and training.”