By Steve Barras
This eighth instalment of our Youth and Development feature centres around the goings on at Thorp Arch during March.
The Development Squad made it back-to-back victories against Coventry City at Thorp Arch. Goals from Patrick Antelmi, Ryan Hall and Lewis Walters secured the 3-0 win. Walters opened the scoring in the first half with a deft chip after good pressure from Chris Dawson and Antelmi. The advantage was doubled when Antelmi ran onto a poor back pass and slotted the ball past the keeper, the third came via the penalty spot after Adam Drury weaved his way into the box and was brought down, Hall converted.
18 year old Chris Dawson was called up to the Wales u21 squad for the second time running.
A young Development Squad travelled to Crewe and were beaten 4-1; all four of Crewe’s goals came in an awful first half for the young Whites. Manager Neil Redfearn shuffled the team around for the second half and Leeds managed to get a foothold, they should have pulled more than the one goal back, scored by Patrick Antelmi from the edge of the box.
Next for the Development Squad was a game at Elland Road against Birmingham City, a game that Leeds easily won 3-1. Leeds were on top for most of the game with Chris Dawson running the show from midfield. Ryan Hall opened the scoring with a sublime free kick which completely wrong footed the Birmingham keeper, Dawson popped up with the second in the second half, a strike from distance from the young Welshman. Lewis Walters completed the scoring after a Birmingham consolation, keeping his composure and sliding the ball past the keeper.
Leeds Development vs. Coventry City
Eric Grimes, Alex Purver, Ross Killock, Monty Gimpel, Adam Drury, Ryan Hall, Simon Lenighan, Aidy White, Chris Dawson, Patrick Antelmi, Lewis Walters. SUBS. Jordan Snodin, Sanchez Payne, Luke Parkin.
Leeds Development vs. Crewe Alexandra
Eric Grimes, Lewis Turner, Ross Killock, Monty Gimpel, Smith Tiesse, Nathan Turner, Simon Lenighan, Alex Mowatt, Sanchez Payne, Patrick Antelmi, Lewis Walters. SUBS. Kalvin Phillips, Alex Purver, Luke
Leeds Development vs. Birmingham City
Eric Grimes, Nathan Turner, Jason Pearce, Ross Killock, Lewis Turner, Ryan Hall, Simon Lenighan, Chris Dawson, Aidy White, Lewis Walters, Habib Habibou. SUBS. Alex Mowatt, Patrick Antelmi.
Ryan Hall 8
Dominic Poleon 7
Patrick Antelmi 7
Chris Dawson 6
Lewis Walters 4
Lewis Turner 2
Ramon Nunez 1
Peter Poloskei 1
Zac Thompson 1
Patrick Kisnorbo 1
Luke Varney 1
Charlie Taylor 1
Danny Pugh 1
Paul Connolly 1
Sanchez Payne 1
Alex Mowatt 1
Habib Habibou 1
The u18’s suffered a rare defeat at the hands of Coventry City. The game was marred when Jake Skelton was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg, with the scores still level. Eoghan Stokes, Tom Lyman and Lewis Cook all went close to scoring before Skelton’s injury but Coventry scored with their only chance of the first half. Leeds continued to pressurise the Coventry defence after the break but were unable to find a breakthrough. This game saw first appearances in a white shirt for two new academy players, Zimbabwean born Munya Mbanje and Euan Mulhern.
It was two defeats in a row for Leeds u18’s as they lost, again by a single goal to Crewe Alexandra. With the u18 league title all but sealed, manager Richard Naylor decided to experiment for the second game running with the players that would be available to him next season, the exception being Luke Parkin.
Leeds youngster Lewis Cook was called up to the England u16 squad for their games in Franceat the Montaigu Tournament.
Seven young players that have featured or been on the fringes of our u18 squad have signed Scholarship deals with the club, Isaac Asseno, Liam Bennett, Piteu Crouz, Lewis Cook, Tom Lyman, Munya Mbanje and Euan Mulhern will feature for the u18’s next season, whilst a number of players playing in their final season at u18 level have signed professional deals with the club. Lewis Walters, Eric Grimes, Luke Parkin and Alex Mowatt will join Chris Dawson, who signed a contract earlier this season, in pushing for a first team berth next season.
Leeds u18’s lifted the league trophy at the end of March with a fantastic win at second placed Nottingham Forest, Richard Naylor welcomed back a number of his squad that had been playing with the Development Squad, with the exception of Chris Dawson who was called up for the first team squad’s visit to Ipswich Town. The u18 game ended 7-2 to Leeds with Lewis Walters bagging a hat-trick. The other goals were scored by Luke Parkin, Alex Mowatt, Kalvin Phillips and Smith Tiesse.
Leeds u18’s vs. CoventryCity
Eric Grimes, Corey Roper, Afalobi Coker, Jake Skelton, Smith Tiesse, Alex Purver, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Munya Mbanje, Tom Lyman, Eoghan Stokes. SUBS. Liam Bennett, Luke Booker, Euan Mulhern
Leeds u18’s vs. Crewe Alexandra
Dan Atkinson, Luke Booker, Smith Tiesse, Afalobi Coker, Corey Roper, Alex Purver, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Tom Lyman, Luke Parkin, Eoghan Stokes. SUBS. Euan Mulhern, Ali Amiri, Liam Bennett.
Leeds u18’s vs. Nottingham Forest
Eric Grimes, Corey Roper, Afalobi Coker, Smith Tiesse, Alex Purver, Alex Mowatt, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Luke Parkin, Eoghan Stokes, Lewis Walters.
Lewis Walters 14
Luke Parkin 11
Alex Mowatt 9
Chris Dawson 7
Eoghan Stokes 6
Kalvin Phillips 5
Lewis Cook 3
Afalobi Coker 1
Corey Roper 1
Smith Tiesse 1
The future’s bright, the future’s white.