Ollie Jefferies proud of team spirit shown by Swansea City U18s
Coach Ollie Jefferies praised the belief and team spirit shown by Swansea City Under-18s in their FA Youth Cup win at Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.
The Swans ran out 2-1 winners in the third-round tie at Portman Road to reach the fourth round for the first time in three years.
The opening half was an entertaining affair with chances for both sides, but the Swans were the ones to break the deadlock after Thomas Woodward finished calmly from Aimar Govea's delivery.
The visitors would double their lead minutes later with Davies chesting home after Govea had struck the woodwork.
The Tractor Boys pulled a goal back on the brink of half-time as Steven Turner converted a penalty, but there were no further goals in the second half as the Swans reached the fourth round for the first time since the 2020-2021 campaign.
"We felt well prepared and really clear in our game plan going into the game. That clarity gave the staff and players real confidence and belief. It was important going into the game that we stayed true to ourselves, our principles and our structure," said Jefferies.
"We didn’t ask the lads to do anything they hadn’t done before. We made it about us and what we do well.
"A game plan means nothing, however, if it’s not executed. That’s what I am most proud of. I’m proud of the work the staff put into preparing the lads but I’m even prouder of how the boys executed on the pitch.
"We scored two unbelievable goals which have been worked on relentlessly on the training ground and in the video room, and they exemplified what we are about as a team. We also did the other side of the game well. We respected Ipswich and their strengths.
"With that in mind we knew we’d have to compete for a lot of first and second balls and defend our box resiliently. People will look at the goals that won us the game, but for me it was the structural discipline with and without the ball and our togetherness that has got us through."
The Swans can now look forward to the draw for the next round, and Jefferies believes - whoever they face - it will be another important step in the progress of the young group of players.
And Jefferies also thanked all those who have played a part in the development of the individuals in the squad, with a number of friends and family watching on from the stands at Portman Road.
“Nights like this do not happen because of the under-18s' staff and players alone. It happens because of all the coaches and support staff that the players have had on their journey," he said.
“It also happens through the support the players have had through the commitments their parents have put in over the years.
“The players were reminded of that before the game and we had plenty travel a long way to watch the lads play, and even more supporting them back home. The staff and players appreciate their support.”