Richards hails ‘important win’ for under-18s
Gary Richards labelled Swansea City under-18s victory in the play-offs of the Generali CEE Cup as an ‘important’ step in their pre-season programme.
The scholars beat Hungarian side Vasas Kubala Academy 2-0 in Prague on Sunday afternoon to earn their first win of the pre-season.
Goals from frontmen Liam Cullen and Liam Edwards in each half earned the young Swans their first win in the under-19s competition.
The under-18s next face Czech side SK Slavia Prague in their final game of the competition on Tuesday.
“I am pleased with the performance, I felt we controlled the game for the majority of match.” Said Richards.
“We played really well at times but also dug in to defend and keep a clean sheet.
“There are still areas we need to improve and work on ahead of our final game here and the start of the season, but overall I feel we are building and developing with each game we have played.
“The tournament has set us different challenges, each game has brought something different and it continues to be a great learning experience for our group of young players.”
“Our next game will be tough, but we will be looking to win and end our time in Prague on a high.”
Swans Under-18s 2-0 Vasas Kubala Academy
The Swans made the perfect start to the match when 16-year-old Welsh international Liam Cullen latched onto Brandon Griffiths cross to head home after just three minutes.
The striker however had to be substituted moments later after sustaining a knock to his left leg that looks certain to keep him out of Tuesday’s final match.
The under-18s continued to pile pressure onto the Hungarian’s defence in the first half with Brandon Griffiths, Jack Evans and Aaron Lewis all coming close to doubling the lead.
At the other end, keeper Lewis Thomas ensured Swansea held their 1-0 lead at the break, blocking a header on the line on the stroke of half-time.
The under-18s doubled their lead just minutes into the restart when Liam Edwards tapped home a spilled cross from the Vasas Kubala goalkeeper.
Edwards came close to adding a third when a corner ball from winger Causso Darame fell to him on 57 minutes, but shot wide.
Defender Aaron Lewis also failed to convert a penalty after a foul in the box, his spot kick hitting the post on 72 minutes, while 15-year-old Jack Fox came on late in the second half to make his debut for the under-18s side.
Results means the young Swans face Slavia Prague’s under-19s in their final game of the Generali CEE Cup.
The match will determine where Swansea City under-18s finish overall in the competition.
Swans U18s v Vasas Kubala Academy: Lewis Thomas, Sean Hanbury (Connor Quigley, HT), Dan Jefferies (Ben Morgan, 82), Ben Jones, Aaron Lewis, Jack Evans, Thomas Dyson, Keiran Evans, Brandon Griffiths, Liam Edwards, Liam Cullen (Causso Darame, 7) (Jack Fox, 82)
Keep up to date with the Under-18s' tour of the Czech Republic via the official website, SwansAcademy.co.uk, and through social media via Twitter @swansofficial & @swans_academy and Facebook.