This ninth instalment of our Youth and Development feature centres around the goings on at Thorp Arch during April and the start of May.
April started with the news that young centre back Ross Killock had agreed to extend his contract by another year. Killock had been on loan at Blue Square Premier side AlfretonTown, he made seventeen appearances and established himself as a regular in their first team during his four months there.
Leeds parted company with Neil Warnock early in the month and regular Development Squad manager, Neil Redfearn, took over first team responsibilities so u18 manager Richard Naylor stepped up and recorded a goalless draw in his first match against Nottingham Forest. Lewis Walters and Ryan Hall came closest to breaking the deadlock and Eric Grimes had to make a couple of good saves at the other end.
After making seven appearances for promotion chasing Sheffield United, Dominic Poleon was recalled by caretaker manager, Neil Redfearn.
Ten man Leeds were shot down by an injury time Sheffield United winner in the Development Squads next game. Jordan Snodin was taken off injured with twenty minutes still remaining, after Habib Habibou and Rodolph Austin had already been substituted on the hour mark. Alex Purver had already been taken to hospital with a shin injury as well.
Another late goal handed Leeds another defeat, this time against Birmingham City. Luke Parkin had cancelled out Birmingham’s opener but the blues hit again in the ninety-third minute.
New Leeds manager, Brian McDermott, was in the stands for the Development Squad’s next game against Sheffield Wednesday. The game ended 2-2, Lewis Turner and Dominic Poleon scoring our goals, twice coming from behind. Leeds dominated the second half but couldn’t quite steal the win.
Zac Thompson returned from his loan spell at League One strugglers Bury and was described as Leeds best player in the Development Squad’s final fixture of the season against Huddersfield Town, the game ended in defeat but Leeds had dominated the game with the visitors barely threatening the goal. However a lucky break settled the game.
Leeds Development vs. Nottingham Forest
Eric Grimes, Lewie Coyle, Ross Killock, Adam Drury, Jordan Snodin, Simon Lenighan, Alex Mowatt, Alex Purver, Ryan Hall, Patrick Antelmi, Lewis Walters. SUBS. Luke Parkin, Kalvin Phillips.
Leeds Development vs. Sheffield United
Eric Grimes, Lewie Coyle, Ross Killock, Rodolph Austin, Jordan Snodin, Alex Purver, Simon Lenighan, Ryan Hall, Habib Habibou, Dominic Poleon, Lewis Walters. SUBS. Dan Atkinson, Patrick Antelmi, Afalobi Coker, Smith Tiesse, Luke Parkin.
Leeds Development vs. Birmingham City
Eric Grimes, Lewie Coyle, Ross Killock, Afalobi Coker, Lewis Turner, Simon Lenighan, Alex Mowatt, Kalvin Phillips, Luke Booker, Lewis Walters, Luke Parkin.
Leeds Development vs Sheffield Wednesday
Eric Grimes, Ross Killock, Lewis Turner, Aidan White, Simon Lenighan, Lewis Cook, Ryan Hall, Patrick Antelmi, Habib Habibou, Dominic Poleon. SUBS. Lewis Walters, Tyler Denton.
Leeds Development vs. Huddersfield Town
Alex Cairns, Hendrie, Ross Killock, Lewis Turner, Aidan White, Simon Lenighan, Zac Thompson, Ryan Hall, Luke Parkin, Lewis Walters, Dominic Poleon. SUBS. Lewie Coyle, Kalvin Phillips, Tyler Denton.
Ryan Hall 8
Dominic Poleon 8
Patrick Antelmi 7
Chris Dawson 6
Lewis Walters 4
Lewis Turner 3
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
Luke Parkin 1
Neil Warnock’s resignation meant a temporary shake up of the coaching staff. Richard Naylor stepped up to the Development Squad whilst Leigh Bromby and Chris Coates oversaw the u18’s, a spell that started with a 3-1 victory over Sheffield United at Thorp Arch. Luke Parkin and Euan Mulhern put the young whites into a decent lead before the Blades reduced the deficit. Alex Mowatt then won and converted a penalty to claim all three points.
The club announced its released list at the beginning of May and out of the ten players that were told to leave the club, four were from the academy. Monty Gimpel, Sanchez Payne, Patrick Antelmi and Jordan Snodin have now left Leeds United.
Leeds u18’s suffered heartbreak as their season ended in the Play-Off semi final against Q.P.R. at Thorp Arch, Leeds created the better chances, coming close on a number of occasions but the Londoners scored in the ninety-first minute to win the tie.
Leeds u18’s vs. Sheffield United
Eric Grimes, Luke Booker, Corey Roper, Liam Bennett, Smith Tiesse, Alex Purver, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Ali Amiri, Luke Parkin, Euan Mulhern. SUBS. Alex Mowatt, Lewis Walters.
Leeds u18’s vs Q.P.R. (PDL2 Play-Off Semi Final)
Eric Grimes, Luke Booker, Corey Roper, Afalobi Coker, Smith Tiesse, Alex Purver, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Walters, Luke Parkin.
Lewis Walters 14
Luke Parkin 12
Alex Mowatt 10
Chris Dawson 7
Eoghan Stokes 6
Kalvin Phillips 5
Lewis Cook 3
Afalobi Coker 1
Corey Roper 1
Smith Tiesse 1
Euan Mulhern 1
The future’s bright, the future’s white.