Bluebirds’ Trialists Revealed After Match Against Robins

Neil Warnock and his coaching staff are looking to the future by giving a series of young players trial spells with Cardiff City.

Warnock’s Bluebirds fielded five trialists in their Under-23 Development team who played Bristol City in a 2-2 draw at Cardiff International Sports Campus.

Winger Nathan Mavilla, a former West Ham player, remains with Cardiff after starting his trial several weeks ago.

He is the only one from the players on trial who played in development matches against Queens Park Rangers away and Southampton.

Defensive midfield player Amos Nasha, Philadelphia-born Liam Conte, ex-QPR full-back Kris Owens and centre-forward Lewis Byrne-Hewitt, 20, have all moved on after brief spells with the Bluebirds.

Mavila remains and was among the five being assessed by player development manager Craig Bellamy and his staff.

The trialists who played against Bristol City:

Sean Hanbury: Aged 18 and a striker spent eight seasons with Swansea City’s Academy. From the Port Talbot area. Played for the Swans in an international youth tournament at St Georges Park when Juventus, Spartak Moscow and Arsenal were the other teams competing.

Kyle Spence (See YouTube video of Spence showing off his skills): Aged 20. Tricky midfield player or winger from Croydon, Surrey. Former Crystal Palace and Coventry City youth player who won international honours with Scotland at under-16 level. Current club: East Grinstead Town.

Played for Surrey Schools when they won the English County Under-14 Cup six years ago.

Made one first team appearance for Coventry City.

Keegan Woolley: American midfield player from San Antonio, Texas. Son of former Aston Villa (youth), Birmingham City and Mansfield Town player Thomas Woolley. Teenager Keegan has had two trial spells with Manchester United.

Sam Phillips: Aged 18, Welsh midfield player from Church Stoke, Powys. Aged 18, came through the Wolves Academy. Wales under-17 international.

Nathan Mavilla (see YouTube video of Mavilla playing for West Ham): Former West Ham winger, aged 20. Has played for Maidstone United and Wealdstone since being released by West Ham. He was an unused substitute in a Europa League tie against Romanian club Astra.

The young Bluebirds, who had Andy Legg and Jarrad Wright in charge of the team, opened a 2-0 lead by half-time.

Spence looked lively in wide areas, while the sons of two former Cardiff players teamed up at the back.

Connor Young, whose dad is Scott, and Martyn Margetson’s son Ben were the two centre-backs.

Goalkeeper Oliver Byrne made a good save after 25 minutes when he pushed a cracking shot by James Morton onto the bar. Byrne reacted quickly as the ball looped into the air and dropped back into the danger area, jumping up to palm the ball away to safety.

Mark Harris scored for Cardiff on the half hour, racing clear and steering his shot past onrushing goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott.

An own goal by Harvey Smith just before half-time made it 2-0 before the Robins hit back to earn a draw.

Byrne made an outstanding just before the hour, but Kel Akpobire scored from the rebound.

Harris hit the bar and found the net again only to have his effort disallowed before Antoine Semenyo equalised for the visitors.

Cardiff City under-23: Oliver Byrne, Sean Hanbury, Nathan Mavila, Jamie Veale (capt), Ben Margetson, Connor Young, Kyle Spence, Keegan Woolley, Mark Harris, James Waite, Sam Phillips. Sub (only one named): Warren Burwood (gk).

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