Youngsters lead the way with four straight winsReading’s Under-18 team sit top of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League (South), after winning all four of their opening fixtures – most recently a 5-1 win against Swansea in South Wales on Saturday.
The win against the Swans came seven days after they recorded a superb 4-1 against their counterparts from Arsenal when they met at Hogwood Park. Our Academy boys have also been victorious away to Southampton and at home against Aston Villa so far this season.
Royals captain Josh Barrett had the Under-18 side ahead against Swansea at Landore before the break, and a second goal for Barrett after the interval and sole strikes from Tyler Frost and Sam Smith extended the margin to four. The Swans reduced the arrears with 15 minutes to go, but Conor Davis netted a fifth for Reading in the final minute.
They had to come from behind to record their victory against Arsenal a week earlier – our U18s conceded after 15 minutes, but Axel Andresson levelled half an hour in and Smith gave the Royals the lead for the first time soon after. Andresson’s second, midway through the second half, put breathing room between the teams and Davis rounded off the scoring with 10 minutes to spare.
The U18s win in South Wales completes a fortnight of tremendous results for our youth sides – the Under-21s defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Madejski Stadium to go top of the Under-21 Premier League Division 1 two weeks ago, thanks to goals from Andrija Novakovich and Rowan Liburd.
Assistant Academy Manager Lee Herron said: “In youth football, the main focus is always on performance, development and making sure our young players have the best chance of making a career in the game. Both our Under-18s and Under-21s have had bright starts to their seasons against tough opposition which has been pleasing, and shows that we can compete with some of the best clubs in the country.
“Our Academy had a record number of graduates in the club’s first team last season, and the young players know that there is a pathway to professional football here at this club if they can keep working smart and hard.”
Click here to see our Under-18s' fixtures and results so far in 2015/16, and you can see their current league table by clicking here.
And you can also see the schedule for our Under-21 side by clicking here, and just click here to access the Under-21 Premier League Division 1 standings.