U18 Match Preview: QPR Vs. Cardiff City
Craig Bellamy’s side travel to Sipson Lane this Saturday for their fourth consecutive away league fixture, with a win keeping the young Bluebirds at the top of the PDL2 South table – 12pm kick-off.
City go into the fixture in great form, winning their last two league games and progressing to the third-round of the FAW Youth Cup with a 17-0 win over Tiger Bay Juniors on Sunday, 4th November.
Know Your Opponent
The hosts are currently sat in fifth place, having won five games and drawing two from eleven fixtures – collecting a total of seventeen points in the process. Paul Furlong’s side are currently only five points away from City, after winning three of their last four league fixtures.
QPR finished last season in sixth place, accumulating 41 points from twenty-nine games; winning thirteen games. The R’s were knocked out in the FA Youth Cup at the first time of asking, falling to a 3-1 defeat against Charlton Athletic on December 12th, 2017.
Despite finishing the 2016/17 season with a disappointing tenth placed finish, conceding eighty-three goals – The Hoops progressed to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup in what was otherwise a poor season. A win against Swindon Town helped Furlong’s side set up a tie with Tottenham Hotspur, but they fell to a 4-1 defeat at home against the Lilywhites.
QPR’s academy is headed up by Chris Ramsey, who is currently head of coaching and academy director. The former defender made over 100 appearances for Brighton and Hove Albion, Swindon Town and Southend United collectively.
He was formerly caretaker manager at the R’s, before being employed in the role on a permanent basis. Ramsey left the club in 2015, before returning in 2016 to take up a role in the academy.
Paul Furlong is U18 manager for the hosts, having previously been assistant coach to Steve Gallen. Furlong made over 150 appearances for his current side, scoring fifty-five goals for the club - he possesses a plethora of experience, having played sides including Coventry, Watford, Chelsea, Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers.
Furlong is assisted by ex-Jamaica international Paul Hall, who made 48 appearances for the national team, scoring fourteen goals in a spell which lasted fourteen years. The forward’s former clubs include Torquay United, Portsmouth, Walsall and Coventry City.
Bellamy’s side have a mixed record in recent times against the R’s, having not won against QPR away from home since 2016.
The most recent meeting between the sides resulted in a 5-1 win for the hosts in the final game of the season on April 24th, 2018, with a hat-trick from Charley Kendall leading QPR to an emphatic win.
The young Bluebirds have won their last two home meetings with the Hoops, with the most recent fixture resulting in a 6-2 win for City. Isaak Davies scored a hat-trick, with Sion Spence, Kieron Evans and Sam Bowen all getting on the scoresheet in a brilliant victory.