Luey Giles

Young Bluebirds sign contracts with Cardiff City

Twelve promising young talents have put pen-to-paper on professional contracts with the bluebirds.

Academy prospects Cody Twose, Joe Thomas, Luey Giles, Troy Perrett, Trey George, Ronan Kpakio, Cole Fleming, Luke Armstrong, Dakarai Mafico, Josh Beecher, Tanatswa Nyakuhwa and Will Spiers will all continue their journeys in the Welsh capital and link up with Darren Purse's U21s squad ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Commenting on the contract signings, Purse said: "It's a proud day for everyone involved. We make a huge effort on the day that the players sign their contracts to make it a big experience for them. Some of them have been at the Club since a young age; the hours that they and their families have had to put in, it's an immensely important day for the player and their families, but also the Club as a whole.

"The number of scholars we're taking on this year is testament to the work that has been done throughout the whole Academy. It gives us a great base to progress those boys into the First Team."

Cody Twose

Attack-minded midfielder Cody Twose joined the Academy at the age of seven and featured heavily for our U21s in the 2023/24 campaign.

After signing his contract, Cody said: “It’s a proud moment for me and my family. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of. To be here now, I’m really proud of that. 

"I'd like to thank all the coaches and staff that have helped me. My aim is to keep playing well for the U21s and hopefully get a chance with the First Team to show what I can do.”

Joe Thomas

Having previously gained experience at both U18 and U21 level, goalkeeper Joe Thomas has also extended his stay with the Bluebirds.

“I’m delighted," Joe began. "It’s a great feeling to sign my first professional contract. With it being at Cardiff City, it makes it even better. 

"I came here to watch the games when I was growing up and a lot of my family support Cardiff City, so it means a lot to me.”

Luey Giles

Left-back Luey Giles joined the Academy at U9 level, going on to make his First Team debut in a 2-1 victory over Southampton in April with an assured performance as a second half substitute.

Luey commented: “I’m very happy to be at such a great club and continue my stay here. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes, doing extra things on my own, gym work and on the pitch, so I’m glad it’s paid off. 

"Playing for the First Team at the end of last season was surreal, it’s what I’ve dreamed of and to do it in front of my family and all the fans, I was very happy with that. I want to continue to build on that now and hopefully make more appearances next season.”

Troy Perrett

Attacking-midfielder Troy Perrett continues his journey at the Club, having first joined at the age of eight. The 17-year-old impressed at both U18 and U21 level in the 2023/24 season.

“I’m buzzing to sign a contract with Cardiff City," Troy said. "It’s a dream come true for me and my family. 

"The hard work starts now. Both the U18s and U21s gave me some great experiences last season, so it’s just about taking that and moving forward with it this season.”

Trey George

Another who joined the Academy at the age of eight, Trey George has committed his future to the Club.

A highlight of the playmaker's 23/24 campaign was a brilliant hat-trick for our U18s against Swansea City, who came back from 2-0 down to claim a dramatic 3-2 victory.

Commenting on signing his contract, he said: “I’m very pleased to be at a massive club like Cardiff City. I’m looking forward to continuing what I did last season and play a lot of games for the U21s.”

Ronan Kpakio

Having joined at U8 level, Ronan Kpakio impressed during the 23/24 season for both the U18s and U21s. 

He also gained further international experience over the summer, representing Wales in the UEFA U17 European Championship.

“It’s a real privilege," Ronan began. "I’ve been here since I was seven, so growing up here and playing through the ages, it’s been a really good experience for me. I’m really happy to be continuing here. 

"It’s great that I’ve been able to play at U18, U21 and international level, it gives me a lot of exposure and I’m just looking forward to next season now. I’m hoping for it to be a successful season and get myself in and around the First Team, whether that be in training of making my debut.”

Cole Fleming

Cole Fleming has shown his ability as both a wing-back and a winger since joining the Club at U9 level, boasting electric pace and threat in 1v1 situations.

He commented: "It's a proud moment for me and my family. It's been a long time coming, but I'm looking forward to the season now. 

"There have been a few setbacks for me with injuries, but today is a real milestone. I've always wanted to sign for this Club and I feel like I can do great things here."

Luke Armstrong

Goalkeeper Luke Armstrong gained experience in the 2023/24 season with both the U18s and U21s and will link up with Purse's side in the new campaign.

“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family," he said. "For all the years of dreaming about this moment and for all the sacrifices my family have made, for me to be able to have this moment has made me very grateful. 

"My aims for this season are to be the U21s number one throughout the season. Also, I want to be included in Wales age-grade squads consistently throughout the next season.”

Dakarai Mafico

Dakarai Mafico has extended his stay following a season of real progress in the 2023/24 campaign.

After making an impression for the U18s and U21s, the midfielder was included on the First Team bench on the final day of the season against Rotherham United.

Dakarai said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have signed a professional contract. I’ve been working so hard going through the age groups, it’s been an enjoyable time at the Club so far and I can’t wait for more opportunities to come. It was a really positive season for me individually. I played for the U18s a lot, but also stepped in to the U21s. 

"Being on the bench for the First Team against Rotherham just topped it off. It was probably the highlight of my season. I’m hoping to get more opportunities next season if they come, but at the moment, all I’m focusing on is working hard and giving everything my all.”

Josh Beecher

Josh Beecher joined the Academy at U13 level and the left-back made his First Team debut in the Carabao Cup against Blackburn Rovers in September 2023.

“I’m over the moon," Josh began. "It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to happen. I’ve worked really hard for this all my life and for it to happen, hopefully it’s the first of many.”

Tanatswa Nyakuhwa

Tanatswa Nyakuhwa impressed in the 2023/24 campaign, as he gained experience at both U18 and U21 level and consistently produced standout displays.

"I'm delighted to sign at the Club that I've been at for 11 years," Tanatswa said. "It's a proud moment for me and my family. They've done a lot for me to get to this point. I want to cement my place in the U21s team and try to impress."

Will Spiers

Will Spiers joined the Academy at the age of seven and during his time at the Club, the defender has showcased his athletic ability as both a wing-back, full-back and centre-back.

Upon signing his contract, he said: "I'm ecstatic to sign the contract. I've been here for 12 years, so it's been a dream of mine to sign a professional deal. I'm really glad it's over the line.

"I've been with a lot of the lads since day one. I'm very close with Cody [Twose], who joined at the same time as me, then Dylan [Lawlor] came a few months later, so we've been together the whole time. It's a great feeling for all of us."

Gavin Chesterfield will join the Bluebirds on November 14th, as the new Academy Manager...

Academy Manager Gavin Chesterfield added: “It's exciting to see these players continue their journey at Cardiff City, some of whom started at six years of age. Congratulations to them and their families. 

“All these players have bought into our plans for their continued development, but right now, it's about remaining grounded and working hard. All have earned their shot at professional football and know the challenge that lies ahead, as they progress up to the Vale.”