Under-23s making good progress, says Kristian O'Leary

28th July 2021
Kris O'Leary

Swansea City Under-23s coach Kristian O'Leary feels his players are showing signs of progress as they added another victory to their pre-season campaign.

The Swans ran out 4-1 victors over Southern League Division One South side Larkhall in Landore on Tuesday night, with goals from Joel Cotterill and two trialists rounding off a good night's work.

That result came on the back of wins over Trefelin and Barry Town, but it is the performances which have pleased O'Leary as his team prepare for the start of the Professional Development League campaign.

"The boys have put in a lot of hard work during pre-season, and it's nice to see some of that hard work put into practice," said O'Leary.

"I felt we took a bit of time to get our game going on Tuesday night - taking too many touches and not moving the ball quick enough - but that's what we are working on during this period.

"It's getting the players into that mindset, and there are signs that we are progressing with that. We are building nicely, and I was pleased with the way we scored our goals - there was some nice build-up play and finishes.

"I've always said that you don't run yourself out of trouble, you pass your way out of it, and when that comes off then it's a great sight to see. It can be undefendable at times."

Joel Cotterill
Joel Cotterill was on the scoresheet for Swans Under-23s against Larkhall.

O'Leary's youthful side, which included five trialists in their starting XI, led 1-0 at the break before stepping up a gear in the second half.

Three of their four goals came from trialists, with Cotterill's fine curling effort the pick of the goals.

And O'Leary was pleased with the way his side dealt with the aerial threats posed by their opponents.

"It was a really good test for our lads. Their keeper was putting free-kicks from his own half to some big, physical players in our box, and we have to deal with that," he added.

"If our lads are to enjoy a long career in the game then they'll have to deal with all kinds of approaches, so I'm happy with how they did that on Tuesday night.

"Now it's about continuing to build on our performance as we move on in pre-season."

Next up for the under-23s is a trip to Southern League Premier South side Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.