Darren Davies | Cup exit a huge learning moment

6th November 2022
Darren Davies U18s Hull

Coach Darren Davies believes Swansea City Under-18s will learn a lot from the disappointment of being denied a quarter-final place in the Professional Development League Cup at Plymouth.

Wales Under-17 international Joe Hatch got the only goal of the game, finding the net with his header from a corner five minutes before the interval.

The Swans were placed top of the Group E table prior to Saturday’s decider, having held Bristol City to a 2-2 draw and eased to a comfortable 4-2 win over Exeter City in their previous games.

But defeat to the Pilgrims, coached by ex-Swansea City midfielder Darren Way, ensured the Swans did not advance.

“It didn’t go the way that we wanted, but I thought it was a good learning moment for the boys. The conditions were a leveller, gusts of wind and rain on a small, soggy pitch, it was a real cup tie," said Davies. 

“It became a real fight. In fairness to Plymouth, they deserved the win. It wasn’t the way we wanted to play, it was very difficult to get the ball and play in those conditions.  

“It’s those type of games that are learning moments for our young men. Ultimately, I was really pleased come half-time, as it was a learning curve for them and a completely different test for them mentally. 

“Unfortunately, we conceded from a set-piece, which was the difference in the game.  

“We’d seen a couple of their games, we did our analysis, and we knew how they played. Nothing was unexpected. 

“Everything we did and saw was a mental learning moment as much as anything, and learning how to apply yourselves.  

“Ultimately, it became a scrap, battle and fight in the second-half and at the end of the day, we came out second best.”

Next weekend, the age-grade side have a well-deserved weekend off. But in the meantime, they will face Britton Ferry in a friendly on Wednesday, with details of that game to be confirmed in due course.

“It’s a slightly different week next week, we’ll use Wednesday night to blend some of our under-16s into the under-18s environment. We’ll take a large squad down to Britton Ferry," added Davies.

“The boys can then have some deserved rest to go and spend time with their families, before we come back for the extended period before Christmas."