U18 Match Preview: Colchester United Vs. Cardiff City
Cardiff City’s U18 side travel to Florence Park for their third consecutive away league fixture in the Professional Development League Two, with the young Bluebirds knowing that a win will keep them top of PDL2 South.
Craig Bellamy’s side re-gained 1st place after a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Charlton Athletic last weekend, with second-half goals from Isaak Davies and Dan Griffiths making sure that City moved above Ipswich Town in the league standings.
Know Your Opponent
The U’s are currently sat bottom of PDL2 South and are still without a win this season; they finished ninth in the league last season on 22 points and ended up losing seven league games in a row to finish the season. Despite a tough time in the league, Chris Llewellyn’s side performed admirably in the FA Youth Cup, making it to the quarter-finals of the competition.
They beat Crewe Alexandra 2-0 in the third-round of the FA Youth Cup and replicated that result in the fourth-round against MK Dons a month later. It seemed that they went out of the competition after a 4-1 defeat to Reading in the fifth-round of the Youth Cup. Despite this, Reading fielded an ineligible player in their starting line-up, meaning a 3-0 victory was awarded to Colchester United.
Llewellyn’s team ended up being knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage against eventual finalists Arsenal in a 5-1 defeat at home. Colchester United were also Youth Alliance Cup winners in 2013/14, beating Bradford City’s U18s 4-2 at Valley Parade.
The U’s Academy Manager is Jon De Souza, who previously spent over a decade at Luton Town as a player and then coach, eventually working as reserve team manager. Since leaving Luton, he joined Brentford, working at the club for five years, with three of those years as U21 manager.
Colchester United’s U18 side are currently led by Chris Llewellyn. He joined the club last July after the departure of previous lead coach David Wright, who is now U18 manager at Norwich City. Llewellyn has plenty of experience, with a professional playing career spanning over thirteen years and a previous tenure managing Swansea City’s U23 side in 2014/15, before taking charge of their U18 side a year later.
City have got an exceptional record against their counterparts, having not lost to Colchester United since 2015 and winning the previous six meetings between the two clubs. The best of those six wins came on the opening day of the current 2018/19 season, with the young Bluebirds producing a dominant display to claim a 5-0 win at Cardiff International Sports Campus in August.
Bellamy’s side also picked up two excellent wins against the hosts in the 2017/18 campaign, starting off with an emphatic 3-0 win at home in tricky conditions on October 21st, 2017. United put up a brave performance, but the young Bluebirds' dominance was shown throughout. Goals from Connor Davies, Sion Spence and Kieran Evans led Cardiff City to their third consecutive victory in the league.
Their other win against Colchester United in the 2017/18 season was just as impressive, with the Bluebirds coming from behind at Colchester to seal a deserved 4-1 victory on January 7th, 2018. The hosts started the game stronger and were rewarded for this when Callum Jones put them a goal ahead early on. It wasn’t to be their day though, with goals from Trystan Jones, Sam Bowen, Adam Sharif and Sion Spence making sure City took all three points back to South Wales.
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.