Cardiff City U18 celebrate scoring against Swansea City U18

U18 Match Preview | Ipswich Town vs. Cardiff City

Cardiff City’s U18 side continue their Premier Development League campaign this Saturday, as they travel to take on Ipswich Town at Ipswich Town Training Centre, 10:30am KO.

Tom Hutton’s side got 2024 off to the perfect start last weekend, after they defeated Millwall 3-1. City’s goals came from Troy Perrett, Dan Ola and James Davies, as the Bluebirds recorded their sixth straight victory in the PDL south, their best run of the season so far.

The win keeps City in third place, eight points behind second placed Watford and twelfth placed Charlton Athletic. However, the Bluebirds have three games in hand over the two London clubs.

This weekend sees the U18s travel to Suffolk to take on Ipswich Town. Currently sitting in eighth place in the table, the Tractor Boys haven’t tasted victory since the end of October when they beat Colchester United 6-4. Last weekend, Ipswich suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of Swansea City.

City and Town met in October and the Bluebirds recorded a 2-1 victories thanks to goals from Will Spiers and Tanatswa Nyakuhwa.

Tom Hutton in training for Cardiff City U18

Tom Hutton spoke ahead of Saturday’s fixture, beginning with reflection on last weekend’s victory.

“It was a really positive performance, in many ways. On another day, we could have and probably should have scored a few more goals, but that’s definitely been the focus of our week now, looking at how we can be more decisive and clinical around the box. We want to finish off the good bits of play that we showed last Saturday against Millwall.”

Some of City’s U18s squad also represented the U21s on Monday in a goalless draw against Watford.

Tom added: “It’s a massive positive. It’s definitely something that we’ve tried to be better at this season. As an Academy, we wanted to be more strategic in the way that we planned opportunities for our younger players to be exposed to an older level of football. As staff, we’re consistently meeting about how we can challenge our players to step up a level and I know from Darren Purse’s point of view, he is ready to accept that challenge and believes in our players to give them that exposure."

Turning attention to this weekend, Tom concluded: “We’re expecting a real challenge. I know they always look to cause problems in the way that they play, they have a similar style to us and I think it will be a good test. Last year, we had arguably two of our best performances against Ipswich. We’ll be looking to emulate that again on Saturday.”

Troy Perrett in action for Cardiff City U18

City playmaker Troy Perrett, who netted last week against Millwall, added: “After the Christmas break, it was good to get a win on the board. It’s good to have that momentum and hopefully, we can take it forward into Saturday. Ipswich are a very physical team and they’ll want to compete against us. We can’t underestimate them, even though they’re not high in the league table, I think they will give us a good challenge.

“I’ve had a positive start to the season. I’ve contributed well to the U18s and I’ve been involved with the U21s. Hopefully, I can continue that in the second half of the season, but add some more goals and assists to my game.”