By Steve Barras
This fifth instalment of The Future’s bright takes a look at the games featuring both the Development Squad and the Under 18’s during December.
The Youth and Development side of English football seem to be ahead of the seniors in terms of much needed rest during the winter, unfortunately for me that means a lack of things to talk about in this piece and things did not get off to a good start for the Development Squad as their game against Wigan Athletic was postponed.
During December the club ran a feature on one of the shining lights in the Academy – Ross Killock. The teenager has been out on loan at Blue Square Premier side Alfreton Town since October and has made himself somewhat of a permanent fixture under former Chesterfield and Bradford boss Nicky Law. Killock had been expecting more physical outings than what he was used to playing in the u21’s but he wasn’t expecting to spend so much time in various hospitals. Whilst playing away at Hyde United he took a flailing arm to his mouth which knocked a tooth out and pushed a few more back but that did not stop him playing less than a week later in the second round of The FA Cup against Leyton Orient. Alfreton lost 4-2 on the night in front of live TV camaras.
Goalkeeper Paul Rachubka has been sent on loan to Accrington Stanley. The veteran has been a mainstay in the Development Squad this season.
The Development Squad were due to play Birmingham City at Thorp Arch but the game was cancelled due to a frozen pitch.
The u18’s have been handed a home tie in the FA Youth Cup fourth round against Burton Albion. The youngsters reached the fourth round via Watford whom they despatched 4-0.
The Development Squad finally had their first action of the month when they entertained York City in a hastily arranged friendly. The game ended 5-0 to the whites and the goals came courtesy of Danny Pugh, Lewis Turner, Patrick Antelmi, Ryan Hall and Paul Connolly. The score was 1-0 at half time and Development manager Neil Redfearn felt that The Minstermen held their own for the opening hour of the game.
Leeds Development vs York City
Eric Grimes, Paul Connolly, Patrick Kisnorbo, Lewis Turner, Monty Gimpel, Danny Pugh, Ryan Hall, Simon Lenighan, Jordan Snodin, Chris Dawson, Patrick Antelmi.
Ryan Hall 6
Patrick Antelmi 5
Dominic Poleon 4
Chris Dawson 3
Lewis Turner 2
Ramon Nunez 1
Peter Poloskei 1
Zac Thompson 1
Patrick Kisnorbo 1
Charlie Taylor 1
Danny Pugh 1
Paul Connolly 1
Leeds u18’s will go into the Christmas break sharing the leadership of their league with Nottingham Forest after winning nine of their twelve games and Wigan were their latest scalp after a strong second half performance from the young whites. Lewis Walters gave Leeds the lead but the Premier Leaguers struck twice before Chris Dawson equalised on the stroke of half time. Leeds shut out their opposition in the second half and strikes from Kalvin Phillips and a second for Walters ensured that Leeds ran out 4-2 winners.
Leeds u18’s vs Wigan Athletic
Dan Atkinson, Lewie Coyle, Smith Tiesse, Afalobi Coker, Jake Skelton, Kalvin Phillips, Luke Parkin, Chris Dawson, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Walters, Luke Booker.
Lewis Walters 11
Luke Parkin 10
Alex Mowatt 4
Chris Dawson 4
Kalvin Phillips 4
Lewis Cook 2
Eoghan Stokes 1
The future’s bright, the future’s white.