Swansea City Under-18s | Season in Review

25th May
U18s celebrate semi-final win over Watford

With the 2023-24 Professional Development League season having reached its conclusion, we take a look back over Swansea City Under-18s’ campaign.

The Swans finished in eighth place in the PDL south league, recording 11 wins and scoring 49 goals.

Midfielder Thomas Woodward – and Under-18s player of the season - topped the goalscoring charts with 30 goals in all competitions, while Aimar Govea and Sam Parker both impressed as they made first-team debuts.

Ricky King left the under-18s' set-up in November, as coach Ollie Jefferies temporarily stepped up to lead the young Swans before Jarred Harvey was announced as new under-18s' head coach in January 2024.




The Swans kicked off their 2023-24 season with a 2-1 win over Peterborough United after goals from Woodward and Govea got the youngsters off to a flying start.

After a patchy run of results following their win against the Posh, they claimed their first away win of the season against Watford thanks to a Sammy Henia-Kamau brace in October.

They capped off 2023 with a superb 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth with goals from Rohan Davies and Woodward, and a maiden under-18s' goal by Jacob Cook.

They went into the new year fifth in the south division of the PDL on 15 points, level with fourth-placed Charlton Athletic.

The youngsters started the new year in the same manner as they finished 2023 putting in an excellent performance to claim a 4-2 victory over Ipswich Town thanks to a Woodward hat-trick and Josh Pescatore strike.

A tricky spell ensued as they suffered four consecutive defeats against Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Bristol City and Millwall respectively.

However, the young Swans quickly turned their form around by going unbeaten for the following six fixtures in all competitions.

A 5-1 win over Colchester United made up part of a superb run with the youngsters claiming 10 points from a possible 12 with victory over Sheffield United and Watford in the PDL Cup in between.

Entering the final stretch of the season, the Swans picked up two wins against Fleetwood Town and Barnsley respectively, but suffered three consecutive defeats in their final three games against Sheffield United, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic.


Thomas eoodward

The young Swans enjoyed a lot of cup success during the campaign, reaching the final of the PDL Cup against Millwall at The Den

Swansea suffered late heartbreak in the showpiece. Woodward had the Swans ahead at the break, but a long-range strike from Frankie Maciocia meant the sides were level at the end of regular time. 

Two goals for Kavalli Heywood in extra time secured the win for the young Lions.

The Swans booked their place in the final by beating Watford 2-0 in the semi-final at Landore Training Ground last month. 

In the group stage, the Swans topped their pool following wins over Cardiff City and AFC Bournemouth, plus a thrilling 3-3 draw with Plymouth Argyle. 

And a 3-0 win over Sheffield United saw the age-grade side progress to the semi-finals. 

In the FA Youth Cup, the young Swans advanced to fourth-round of the prestigious competition thanks to a 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town at Portman Road, but bowed out in the following round after a 5-0 defeat to Premier League outfit, Fulham. 



Kit Margetson U17 Euros

The Under-18s were well represented on international duty this campaign.

Harlan Perry and Iestyn Jones were part of Wales Under-17s' Euro 2024 qualifying squad as they finished runners-up in Group Two to reach the upcoming summer finals in Cyprus.

Victory against Bulgaria was enough for Wales to reach back-to-back finals following their 2-1 win over Romania, and despite a 2-1 defeat against Sweden. 

In the qualifying rounds, Jones started both games, and bagged his first goal for his country in their 4-0 victory over Gibraltar. 

Osian Williams and Perry featured as substitutes, with Ben Phillips getting his first call up the the squad following an impressive period with the under-18s for the Swans.

Goalkeeper Kit Margetson earned a Wales Under-19s call-up in March. Playing 90 minutes in their friendly against Belgium and kept a clean sheet in their 1-0 win at Proximus Basecamp in Tubize.

The young Dragons missed out on a place in the Elite Round last October and will now look to prepare for the Uefa European Under-19 Championship Qualifying Round later this year.  



Sammy Henia-Kamau

Jersey striker Henia-Kamau joined Swansea City's academy after completing a move from Jersey Bulls in July. 

Winner of the 2022 Sid Guy award, a prize given for most outstanding player at the Jersey Football Association Centre of Excellence, the 18-year-old had scored 20 goals in 15 matches for the U16s, in all competitions, as well as six goals for the U18s before making the switch to SA1.

Henia-Kamau netted his first hat-trick for the Swans in their PDL Cup group-stage opener against Cardiff City in September 2023. 



Sam Parker

Second-year scholars Parker and Govea, both 17, made their first-team debuts this season. 

Parker was handed his debut by interim head coach Alan Sheehan in the Swans' Championship clash against Coventry City at the CBS Arena on December 29.

The Welsh age-grade international went on to make a further four appearances, starting against Morecambe in the FA Cup and Birmingham City in the league. However, he suffered a hamstring in the latter match which prematurely ended his season.

Govea, meanwhile, made his debut as a second-half substitute in the Swans' 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on March 29. 

The Ecuadorian youth international went on to make a further four appearances as a substitute for Luke Williams' side.

Aimar Govea Sheffield Wednesday