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Club News

U18S SECURE PLAY-OFF SPOT

6 April 2023

Club News

U18S SECURE PLAY-OFF SPOT

6 April 2023

With three games of the Professional Development League campaign remaining, our U18s have secured a place in the end of season play-offs for the second year running.

A magnificent run of form from the start of 2023 has seen the young Reds claim 12 wins from a possible 16 – losing just one of those matches – and score an incredible 47 goals.

As it stands, Nicky Eaden’s side are on course to win the North title for the first time. Sitting 14 points clear of Sheffield United, having played four games more, our U18s know that victories over Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Watford will see them create history.

Their place in the play-offs was confirmed with an emphatic 7-2 triumph against Ipswich Town last Friday – coupled with third place Peterborough United’s defeat at home to Bristol City the following day.

The goals have certainly flowed this term, and they’ve been shared around with three players hitting double figures so far. Josiah Dyer leads the way on 14 in 23 outings, while Theo Chapman and Rafael Monteiro have both scored 11 for the young Reds.

Perhaps what is most pleasing – particularly from a coaching standpoint – is the number of players who have featured in the first team under Michael Duff. Four youngsters have got senior minutes under their belts, with Dyer and Hayden Pickard turning out in the Papa John’s Trophy, Chapman appearing in the Emirates FA Cup, and Portuguese starlet Fabio Jalo seeing Sky Bet League One action.

Should our U18s top their respective division, they will face one of their southern counterparts at home in a one-legged semi-final on Saturday 13 May, with the final scheduled to be played a week later.

Details of this fixture will be announced in due course.

Congratulations to Nicky, the academy coaching staff and, of course, the players on your tremendous achievement!


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