Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds’ Academy revolution has started in style.
Cardiff City have signed eight players on new two-year apprenticeship deals – and opened their under-18 season with a 5-0 home win against Colchester United.
Dan Griffiths (2), Sam Bowen, Sion Spence and Isaac Davies scored the goals for coach Craig Bellamy’s under-18 team, while goalkeeper George Ratcliffe kept a clean sheet.
All the goals came in the first 34 minutes and Cardiff City could have added to their tally during a match they dominated.
City’s under-23 development team open their season in a behind-closed-doors match against Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday evening.
Manager Warnock, having steered Cardiff to promotion, has taken a bigger interest in the Academy over the last few months and his Bluebirds have strengthened their under-18 – including five players who have progressed from the under-9 group onwards.
The new apprentices are:
Moved from Southampton this summer. Attacking player with bags of energy and an eye for goal.
Has also joined Cardiff from Southampton and can play a variety of positions. A left-footed player with an eye for a pass.
Joined Cardiff’s Academy at the age of eight. Attacking midfielder with good physical potential, adds a creative edge to the attacking line-up.
A longstanding member of the Academy, having joined at the age of seven. Quick, agile and aggressive centre forward who has consistently played at under-18 level for two seasons.
Creative, athletic and tricky midfield player, capable of playing in several different roles effectively. Initially joined the Academy at under-8. Has pace and power.
‘Pinchy’ is another who has been at the academy since he was under-8. Combative and dynamic midfield player able to dominate central areas with a steely attitude and determination.
Committed, tough-tackling left-back who joined the academy at under-9.
Joined the Academy at under-13. From Merthyr Tydfil. Pacy, left-footed wide man capable of producing from wide areas.
Bellamy’s young Bluebirds started their season in style with a 5-0 win against Colchester United at Cardiff International Sports Campus.
Ryan Reynolds went close when his header was cleared off the line, while Ratcliffe denied Colchester a goal when he made an outstanding save from Todd Miller.
Griffiths netted the first goal after nine minutes, while Bowen made it 2-0 (17 mins) and Spence chipped the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 on 22 minutes.
Griffiths struck again when he headed in from a narrow angle just after the half hour before centre-forward Isaak Davies, who is from Aberdare and has been with the Bluebirds since the age of seven, added number five (34).
Left-footed Bagan impressed and Barry-born midfield player Spence capped a solid personal performance with his beautifully finished goal.
Cardiff City: George Ratcliffe, Ryan Kavanagh Trystan Jones 59), Ben Margetson (Connor Davies 59), Ryan Reynolds, Joel Bagan, Keenan Patten, Isaak Davies (Jac Davies 75), Sam Bowen, Dan Griffiths, Sion Spence, Rubin Colwill. Subs not used: Jordan Duffy (gk), Ntazana Mayembe.