U18 Match Preview: Cardiff City vs. Coventry City
Cardiff City’s U18 team host Coventry City U18 in the Professional Development League at Cardiff International Sports Stadium on Saturday, November 23rd – 11:30am kick-off and free entry!
The Bluebirds will be aiming to build on their 7-3 victory over Colchester United at Florence Park last time out - which was their biggest win of the season so far – and earn another three points following the two-week international break.
Coventry City currently sit at ninth place in the Professional Development League Group South standings, with 12 points and sit two spots below the Bluebirds - one point behind - but have played an extra fixture.
Ninth is where the Sky Blues concluded the 2018/19 campaign and at that point, they had just 12 more points than they presently have in 2019/20, having competed in 15 more matches.
Karl Hooper’s side began the current season by defeating Sheffield United 4-3 at the Sheffield United Football Academy, before going on a two-game losing run and ending it with a 5-2 win over Bolton Wanderers at The Alan Higgs Centre.
They went on to lose four matches in a row, before beating Bristol City 1-0 at The Alan Higgs Centre and then losing another four – most recently being defeated 6-0 at home to Charlton Athletic.
Harrison Nee is Coventry City’s top scorer so far this campaign, having netted four of their 13 goals to date. The forward is closely followed by Thai Duggan and Ryan Howley, who have both scored twice.
Their other scorers are Sam Rodber, George Ward, Joseph Nightingale, Matthew Harland and Jonathan Ngandu.
In the Hot Seat
Karl Hooper has been Coventry City’s Lead Professional Development Phase Coach since July 8th, 2019.
The former Birmingham City Professional Development Phase Coach took over following the departure of Andy Crabtree, who spent 11 years with the Sky Blues.
Hooper started at Blues as an eight-year-old in 1997/98 and played in their Academy for six years, before leaving.
In November 2010, he became a coach for Birmingham City’s U7-U16 players and progressed to Lead Foundation Phase Coach in June 2012, which also involved him stepping in as Senior Professional Development Coach for five months.
He was appointed Blues’ Professional Development Phase Coach in September 2016 and departed in June 2019.
Last Time Out
The teams last met on February 23rd, 2019 on the Bluebirds’ route to the Professional Development League Final and it ended 3-3 at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
Kieron Evans’ 25th-minute strike sent the hosts into the break with a one goal advantage. Eight minutes following the interval, Ross McParland drew the Sky Blues level, but Sion Spence regained Cardiff City’s lead after 62 minutes.
With 13 minutes of the 90 remaining, George Hunt equalised for the visitors and four minutes later, Costelus Lautaru put them ahead. Three minutes into additional time, midfielder Evans struck his brace and dramatically secured a point for the Bluebirds.