Captain Liam Cullen hailed Swansea City Under-19s’ character and resilience as they lifted the FAW Youth Cup for an historic 17th time at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Causso Darame and Liam Edwards helped the young Swans, who were reduced to ten men in the second half of normal time after Tom Price was sent off for a second booking, earn a 2-0 extra-time win over Welsh League side Cambrian & Clydach.
And Cullen, who scored for the Under-23s in their league victory over Stoke on Saturday and was part of last season’s youth cup winning side, was pleased to retain the title for an eighth successive season.
“I am delighted we could deliver on our aim and lift this title once again,” the 18-year-old said. “It is an objective to win this cup every season.
“Full credit has to go to Cambrian - they were excellent and they made it really difficult for us. We knew we needed to dig deep and use our quality to get us through the game.
“We battled well, especially after going a man down and I was proud of how we played, we showed character and resilience. It is the worst feeling in the world if we lose, so I am just happy we kept battling and got the result.
“Playing at a stadium in the final is a great learning experience for us. It was a massive occasion for the team and what we all dream about.
“It is great to continue our record and next season we want to be back and aim to get the ninth one.”
Darame’s 30-yard strike in the first minute of extra-time broke the deadlock before winger Edwards’ neat finish doubled the lead and secured victory for Swansea.
Former Cambrian & Clydach youth product Edwards admitted there was no better way to end the season.
“We knew we had to succeed and it was a must win game for us,” he said. “Massive respect has to go to Cambrian as they battled hard and made things really difficult for us.
“They pushed us all the way and made us work hard for this cup victory, which is what you want in a final.
“I came though their youth system, so they are my former team. It was great to get the goal and win, but we can’t take anything away from their performance because they deserve full credit for the game they played.”