Raheem Conte

Academy duo Conte and Giles impress on Championship debuts

In our brilliant 2-1 victory over Southampton, there were two Sky Bet Championship debuts for Academy products Raheem Conte and Luey Giles.

The duo were introduced as full-backs in the second half and performed admirably, contributing to a dramatic three points. 

Raheem Conte

Conte impressed at right-back and played a big part in Famara Diédhiou’s equaliser, showing great composure on the right to find a low cross to assist-maker Yakou Méïté.

“It was a good moment for me,” Raheem began. “It’s a really proud day for me and my family. To come on and make a difference was a pleasure. 

“I had a bit of a rumble in my belly when the gaffer called me over and I was putting my shirt on, but once I got on the pitch, I just played to my strengths and had belief in myself. 

“I’m proud of my performance. Throughout my career, I’ve played in many different positions, so it was just about playing to those attributes.

“The stadium was bouncing. The crowd were amazing. When you’re playing, you block out the noise and focus on the game, but after the final whistle, you soak it in.”

Cian Ashford celebrates scoring for Cardiff City

The winning goal came from another Academy product in Cian Ashford, who was making his first Sky Bet Championship start.

Raheem continued: “I’ve played with Cian for a long time and I know he’s got a lot of quality. To see him do that, it was nothing that I didn’t expect. 

“I’m proud of all of us. To come in and get the three points, we were playing a great team. To make a difference, we did the Academy proud.”

Luey Giles

Giles came on at left-back and equally impressed, having joined the Club at U9 level.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” Luey began. “For a Cardiff boy, it’s a dream come true for me and my family. 

“When I saw Ollie [Tanner] go down, you never like to see that, but I knew there was a chance for me to come on. My heart was going a bit, but as soon as I got on the pitch, it was ok. It made it easier having other Academy lads playing, especially having Cian on my side, because I know how he plays. 

"I’m really proud. I feel like I did well when I came on, did my job defensively and contributed going forward, so I’m pleased with that. It was a great experience for me. Coming up against Southampton, who are fighting for promotion, to get the three points is massive for us. 

“It just topped it off. Celebrating in front of the fans really meant a lot to me. The atmosphere was great. I’m really thankful to the fans for coming out and supporting us. I feel like they really helped us to get the win. 

“This year has been a really positive season for the Academy. There’s been a great pathway for us, so it’s been a brilliant year.”