Byron Anthony | U18s made strides as a group
Byron Anthony was encouraged by the gradual improvement demonstrated by Swansea City’s under-18s side during the final weeks of the 2020-21 season, and hopes to carry that forward into the new campaign.
Anthony endured a difficult start to his reign after taking over from Anthony Wright, who stepped up to serve as the under-23s’ assistant coach under the returning Kris O’Leary.
Although performances were encouraging from a side consisting mainly of under-16s players and first-year scholars, he oversaw defeats in each of his opening five games in charge.
However, fortunes would improve with the under-18s losing just one of their next six; notably beating in-form Colchester United 1-0 at Landore, while showing good character to come from behind and earn draws against Nottingham Forest and Millwall.
Anthony’s side also overturned a deficit to beat Crewe Alexandra in the latter stages of the campaign, as well as claiming a creditable draw against FA Youth Cup semi-finalists Ipswich Town.
The under-18s coached commended the efforts of his young squad, and is confident that they can hit the ground running next season.
“We’ve slowly improved as a group and there have been some brilliant individual performances,” he said.
“There are some real good talents in the team. We’re working with players well ahead of their time, which is obviously a really good thing for us.
“The players have done really well the vast majority of the time.
“They have stuck at it, even when there have been three or four games a week at some stages. For me, that is only a green light.
“The players know the standards we expect, so hopefully they will take them on board and we can start next season on the front foot.”