By Steve Barras
This sixth instalment of The Future's Bright focuses on the young starlets during January. The month started with news that Ross Killock and Nathan Turner were set to renew their loan deals with Alfreton Town and Chester respectively; as did Zac Thompson with Bury.
The first match of the month saw a behind closed doors game for the reserves against Blackpool, a game which finished 3-0 to Leeds, a handful of senior players had a run-out with a few of the academy players. Luke Varney, Dominic Poleon and Chris Dawson got the goals in a game that was described as a very polished, professional performance by Neil Redfearn. Dawson who sat on the bench for the F.A. Cup match with Birmingham City assisted Varney before netting his own and was hailed as a ‘game changer’. Leeds went in 2-0 up at the break and just six minutes into the second half Poleon added the third. To celebrate his goal against Blackpool, Poleon signed a new contract, a two and a half year extension.
Leeds Development Squad’s game against Birmingham City was called off due to the bad weather.
Leeds Development Squad were next in action against Leicester City and the game ended in a 1-1 draw with Dominic Poleon getting on the scoresheet for Leeds.
Leeds Development vs Blackpool
Jamie Ashdown, Paul Connolly, Danny Pugh, Charlie Taylor, Adam Drury, Simon Lenighan, Ryan Hall, Jordan Snodin, Dominic Poleon, Chris Dawson, Luke Varney.
Leeds Development vs Leicester City
Paul Rachubka, Alex Purver, Monty Gimpel, Ross Killock, Lewie Coyle, Simon Lenighan, Alex Mowatt, Chris Dawson, Luke Parkin, Patrick Antelmi, Dominic Poleon. SUBS. Jake Skelton, Sanchez Payne.
Richard Naylor’s u18’s started the year with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United. U18 captain Alex Mowatt started the scoring with a neat finish from the penalty spot and Eoghan Stokes doubled the advantage, the next match for the youngsters was the cup tie with Burton Albion and with that in mind Naylor rang the changes but Leeds managed to hang on despite Sheffield United grabbing a late consolation.
Burton Albion were next for Leeds u18’s in the cup with the prize being a trip to Anfield to play Liverpool in the next round. Leeds ran out 6-1 winners on the night with a superb performance from Chris Dawson, he netted a hat-trick. Alex Mowatt scored once again from the penalty spot, Afalobi Coker and Eoghan Stokes got the other two goals for Leeds. Following on from that victory Chris Dawson was called up to the Wales u21 squad for their friendly game against Iceland.
Charlie Taylor was loaned out to Inverness Caledonian Thistle until the end of the season on the 26th January joining up with former England International Terry Butcher.
The u18’s recorded their tenth win in a row against Leicester City, Alex Mowatt scored the decisive goal in a delayed kick off due to adverse traffic conditions for the travelling whites. Leeds had the chance to
double the scoreline but failed to make their chances pay.
Leeds u18’s vs Sheffield United
Eric Grimes, Corey Roper, Luke Booker, Jake Skelton, Afalobi Coker, Alex Purver, Alex Mowatt, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Luke Parkin, Lewis Walters. SUBS Bennet, Eoghan Stokes, Piteu Chydrick.
Leeds u18’s vs Burton Albion (F.A. Youth Cup)
Eric Grimes, Lewie Coyle, Corey Roper, Alex Purver, Afalobi Coker, Jake Skelton, Kalvin Phillips, Alex Mowatt, Luke Parkin, Lewis Walters, Chris Dawson. SUBS. Dan Atkinson, Luke Booker, Ali Amiri, Eoghan Stokes, Lewis Cook.
Leeds u18’s vs Leicester City
Dan Atkinson, Corey Roper, Luke Booker, Afalobi Coker, Jake Skelton, Alex Purver, Kalvin Phillips, Alex Mowatt, Luke Parkin, Lewis Walters, Eoghan Stokes.
The future’s bright, the future’s white.