Development key for U18s
Swansea City Under-18s coach Anthony Wright admits his side have faced a steep learning curve this season as they prepare for a crunch clash with Norwich City.
The age-grade side go in search of three points that could take them off the bottom of the Premier League South table this weekend, with the young Swans squaring off against the 11th-placed Canaries at Bisham Abbey (1pm).
Falling short 3-1 the last time these two sides met, the Swans will be looking ahead to set things right with the opportunity to jump ahead of their rivals in the league.
Wright knows that the Norwich squad will provide another tough test for his young side, but has confidence in their ability to put the lessons they have learned over the season to good use.
“Category one games are always tough games,” said Wright..
“Norwich played very well on the day the last time we met, and we made a few errors for the goals that cost us in the end.
“It was still a positive performance from a young side, and it was a steep learning curve for them.
“The team we have in mind is based on development, we could pick our older players, but we feel it is the right time for individuals and younger players to take the step up, we are more than capable of getting three points.”
The academy side have faced an injury-riddled season and have inevitably found it challenging with so many absences in the squad.
The focus therefore has shifted to development and preparation for some of the younger stars within the ranks, with Wright helping many of his squad transition to the Under-23s this year.
“The squad we have has been the same as all season, we’ve had nine players not available all year through injury,” Wright continued.
“We’ve had a horrific injury list, but that happens in football.
“To see young players like Mason Jones-Thomas, Tivonge Rushesha, Danny Williams and Cameron Evans playing in the Under-23s it’s a huge positive.
“In the short-term we have three games left and we want to win all three, but it’s not going to be overshadowed by the development of the players.”