U18 Match Preview: Charlton Athletic vs Cardiff City
Craig Bellamy’s side travel to South-East London for their second consecutive away fixture in the Professional Development League Two – kick-off 11am.
Know Your Opponent
The Addicks are currently sat in sixth place after a mixed start to the 2018/19 campaign, having won just three of their opening eight games. Sergei Baltacha’s side have collected eleven points so far and are currently only five points behind Ipswich Town who are top of the PDL2 South.
Charlton finished 2nd in the PDL2 South last season but were crowned as champions of the Professional Development League in May, beating Crystal Palace 2-1 in the National Play-Off Final at The Valley. Albie Morgan and Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu scored for Charlton Athletic to seal their third national title in four seasons.
The hosts progressed from the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-1 win against Queens Park Rangers, with late goals from Alfie Doughty and Albie Morgan sealing a place in the Fourth Round. This would be as far as they would progress, after being knocked out of the FA Youth Cup in the Fourth Round of the competition, falling to an agonizing 4-3 loss against Reading in extra-time.
Charlton Athletic’s Academy Manager is Steve Avory, who has overseen a period of success – with no fewer than forty-two players going onto play for the first-team since he joined the club in 2001. His route into Football was rather unconventional, having previously worked as a school teacher, who notably taught current England manager Gareth Southgate.
The Addicks’ U18 side are currently led by Sergei Baltacha, a former professional defender who made nearly 300 appearances for Russian side Dynamo Kiev, as well as a short two-year stint at Ipswich Town as a player. Baltacha has been Lead Professional Phase Coach at the club for just over six years, having previously been a coach at the Academy.
He is assisted by Hamza Serrar, who has been at the club for four seasons, having previously been Algeria’s U20 Assistant Manager.
The Bluebirds have a mixed record against the hosts, having lost both of their fixtures against Charlton Athletic last season, most recently falling to a 3-2 defeat away from home, with goals from Sam Bowen and Laurence Wootton not enough to claim a point at the death.
Charlton have previously faced City in the FA Youth Cup, with current Cardiff City U23 player Jamie Veale scoring from 30 yards-out, a goal which was nominated for 2014/15 Club Goal of The Season. The Bluebirds held on to claim a hard fought 1-0 victory at The Valley in the Third Round of the competition.
Catch-Up: Highlights of the match will be available to subscribers of Cardiff City TV.
Social: Live Updates will come from via our official Academy Twitter account, @CF11Academy