U18 Match Preview | AFC Bournemouth vs. Cardiff City
Cardiff City’s U18 side return to PDL Cup action this Saturday, as they travel to take on AFC Bournemouth at Canford Park Arena – KO at 12:30pm.
Before the international break, the young Bluebirds put in a great performance away from home, defeating Colchester United 6-1. A Trey George brace, along with goals from Will Spiers, Louis Phillips, Josh Beecher, and Troy Perrett sealed City’s biggest win of the season and propelled them to third in the PDL South, three points behind second place Watford.
League action takes a pause this weekend, as Cardiff City complete the group stage phase of the PDL Cup.
Tom Hutton and his men will be buoyed by their first game against Bournemouth this season. Back at the end of September, City recorded a 5-1 win on the South Coast. There were two goals for both Tanatswa Nyakuhwa and Ronan Kpakio, with Jac Thomas also getting himself on the scoresheet.
Ahead of this Saturday's fixture, U18 head coach Hutton said: “The boys are in a really positive place at the minute. Whilst it’s always nice to win games of football, they’re also playing really well. It’s important for us to reflect on the way that the boys play and try to align that as closely as we can with our game model. That’s been the most pleasing thing.
“I said after the Swansea City game that I was really proud of the way that they stuck to the gameplay and showed resilience. As young players, they’re learning about the game, they’re developing technically and tactically, but they’re also young men that are learning to deal with their emotions. When you do get setbacks in a game, if you don’t stick to the plan and come away from what you’re trying to do in the game, you can fall even further behind, so in those moments, they’ve shown resilience.
“I’ve known these boys for a long time, so I’ve got a strong relationship with them and have a good understanding of what makes them tick and how to get the best out of them. I’m in a privileged position from that point of view, but they’re a really honest and hard-working group of players. We’re very fortunate to have that and we have a very strong set of values that we use to try and develop the players. They’re a really good example of that."
Turning his attention to Saturday's opponents, Hutton added: “It’s the fourth time we’ve played them this season if you count 17s and pre-season. We’re expecting a challenging game. They’ve recently stepped up from Category 3, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Playing in the cup gives us a fresh perspective that we need to win to progress to the next stage. With that comes some learning moments for the players, which will help them.”