Swans Academy to play Category One fixtures
Swansea City’s Academy has been given an early boost with news that the club will play Category One fixtures at both U21 and U18 level this coming season.
Although the club is continuing to work towards securing full Category One status, the Premier League has promoted the Swans to the higher level ahead of their forthcoming audit at the end of the year.
Both the U21s and U18s will step up from Professional Development League Two South. The U21s, who won the title last season, will compete in Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2, while the U18s will now play in the Barclays Premier League South Division.
It means the U21s will take on Arsenal, West Brom, Aston Villa, West Ham, Stoke and Newcastle from the top flight, together with Category One clubs Brighton, Derby, Wolves, Fulham and Blackburn.
The U18s will take on the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Leicester, Norwich, Southampton, Spurs, West Brom and West Ham from the top flight, plus Category One clubs Brighton, Fulham and Reading.
“It’s a huge boost,’’ declared Swans Academy Manager Nigel Rees. “It means the boys will be competing against some of the very best players and teams at their age level.
“It’s a big step up for us, but these are the sort of challenges we want our players and teams to face week in week out.
“It’s all part of their development by creating a clear pathway towards the first team.’’
Both age groups will prepare for the new season with foreign training camps.
The U21s are bound for Holland from July 19-26 where they will play ADO Den Haag (July 21, 6pm); Rijnsburgse Boys (July 23, 7pm) and Laakkwartier (July 24, 7pm)
The U18s will be based in Prague from July 22-30 (fixtures to follow).