Following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, Cardiff City’s U18 side have won the PDL2 South title for the first time.
The young Bluebirds went into their last league game of the season against Burnley on Saturday, knowing that realistically, only a win would be enough to keep their hopes of winning the PDL2 South alive.
Instead of being affected by the pressure, City would go on to produce a sublime performance at USW Sports Park, scoring five goals as they claimed an emphatic 5-1 win.
Despite going behind to an early goal from Burnley’s Mitch George, goals from Sam Bowen, Connor Davies and Kieron Evans meant that the hosts went into the break with a two-goal lead. U18 top goal scorer Dan Griffiths would score his 27th goal of the season to make it four, before an own goal 19 minutes from time ensured that the Bluebirds moved up to 1st in the table.
Eventually, with Ipswich unable to win either of their final two games, Cardiff City were crowned champions of the PDL2 South having been league leaders for the majority of the campaign following a number of outstanding performances.
Later this month, the young Bluebirds will compete in the PDL2 Play-Offs as they aim to win the National Title to sit alongside their regional success. City will host the runners-up of the north division; however, the final standings are yet to be decided, meaning that either Leeds United or Sheffield Wednesday could be making the trip to south Wales for the semi-finals.
Following the confirmation of their triumph, Cardiff City FC Executive Director & CEO, Ken Choo, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our Club and Academy; I’m really very proud of our young players and congratulate them wholeheartedly.
“I’d also like to praise the Academy staff and coaches who have worked tirelessly with this talented group of youngsters to help them achieve their potential. I wish everybody the best of luck for the Play-Offs and look forward to watching this group’s continued development in the coming years.”
Academy Manager James McCarthy added: “The success of our U18 side is a fantastic achievement for all the players and staff involved. It is important to also mention the U16 players who have played in a number of games U18 games since Christmas.
“It is fitting that this group of players has been able to win the league for the first time. They have performed with great quality and consistency all season, and hopefully will take that form into the Play-Offs against the northern sides.”