City in Focus | A promising pathway
A huge positive for the Bluebirds this season has been the impact made by U19s players when called up to the senior squad.
Madison Lloyd, Mali Ackerman, Brooke Arthur and Marnie Gingell have all made their senior debuts so far this campaign, while Summer Bowen-Quirk and Olivia Basham have also featured.
Commenting on the regular opportunities for his players, U19s coach Noah Bushby said: “That’s exactly what we set up the U19s team to do. We want to develop players who are hungry to play for the senior team.
“We’ve got a squad of players that we believe can develop into very good footballers and they’re showing that very early on this season. As a Club, anyone you speak to are incredibly proud of the players that have featured for the senior team, but we also have a number of promising players who are pushing really hard and training well. It’s great to see and it shows the talent that we have at the Club.”
Not only have the U19s players gained invaluable experience with the senior team this season, but they have also shown their talent when doing so.
Striker Lloyd notably netted four goals in her first senior start against Llanelli Town in the Bute Energy Welsh Cup.
“When we set up the U19s, we did so earlier than other teams around the country and we aimed for the U19s team to push the senior team players,” Noah continued.
“You can see that we have young players coming through and when they’re performing at the level that they are, it means that the senior team players have to keep their standards high. It pushes their motivation in training and in matches and that’s great to see.”
The Women’s programme at both senior and U19s level has seen success in recent seasons, with the Bluebirds winning the Adran Premier title and Bute Energy Welsh Cup at the end of last season, while the U19s were crowned national champions.
Noah concluded: “The mentality of the senior team definitely rubs off on the U19s players. Whenever the players go and train or play with the senior team, they love it, because of how competitive it is, but also they can see the level they need to get to and maintain.
“It pushes their standards and it means that at both senior and U19s level, we can work towards the goals we have set as a Club.”