Swansea City Under-23s Gary Richards
15th August 2016
Swansea City Under-23s kick off the new season in the rebranded Premier League 2 (Division 2) at home to West Brom at Landore tonight (7pm).
The development squad - who finished third to reach the play-offs last season before a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa - enjoyed a positive pre-season with victories over Scottish Championship sides Morton and Falkirk last month.
Summer signings Tyler Reid (Manchester United) and George Byers (Watford) are both included in the squad for tonight's game, but the U23s are missing the likes of Josh Vickers, Liam Shephard and Adam King due to respective loan moves.
Coaches Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack also have the option to include up to three overage players in their starting XI.
Following a 0-0 draw against Reading in their final pre-season test, Richards believes the team are ready for the challenge of the new season.
"The team are looking good. We feel we have had a decent pre-season rounded off with a competitive game against Reading," said Richards.
"Playing Under-23s football will be a new challenge for us. Changes to the league mean we have the potential to play against older players which will help raise the standard of football.
"Due to seven development players being out on loan at clubs in the Football League, it gives us a huge opportunity to play younger players in the team which will only help them develop their game.
"Our main focus this season must be to continue to develop our young academy players and help push them towards first-team football.
"It will be an exciting new season on the pitch and we feel full prepared for what the new season has to throw at us."
SWANS U23s SQUAD (from): Gregor Zabret, Lewis Thomas, Aaron Lewis, Keston Davies, Tyler Reid, Tom Plezier, Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Tom Holland, Jack Evans, Tom Dyson, Ryan Blair, George Byers, Botti Bia Bi, Alex Bray, Owain Jones, Alex Samuel, Jordan Garrick, Dan James, Oliver McBurnie.
Entry to watch the game is free. Fans are reminded there is no parking at the Landore Training facility.