Cardiff City U18 Head Coach Craig Bellamy spoke following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Saturday, 22nd September.
“It was a very disappointing result, but we played very well,” admitted Craig. "The boys coming back from international duty just hit us for six. To be fair they had a good week in training and I thought that they were really good.
“I was disappointed, but only because we didn’t take our chances. When you don’t, there’s always going to be a spell where they’ll be able to hit you on the break. I thought Palace were good as well though and it was a good game - as good of a game as I’ve seen at youth team level for a while.”
Bellamy elected to make three changes to the starting eleven against Palace, featuring two U16 players, Eli King and Ryan Kavanagh.
“We had two U16 lads starting, which is always good, but we want to win and play well. To me, playing well is just as important as winning as I’ve got to enjoy it. There was a lot I enjoyed today, so I’m relatively happy, but I hate losing. You think you hate it as a player, but it’s even worse when you’re watching from the side.
“The bench also included some of our U16 squad, and there was a number of those boys who we’ve thought a lot of, which we have done for a long time.
“I can only credit those players, as I can’t expect them so early to be physically able to last the 90 at this level. They showed in periods that they’re good players.
"They’ve got a very good chance of stepping up to this level.”