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Academy News

Match preview: Crystal Palace U18s v Norwich City U18s

19 February 2021

Norwich City Under-18s return to the U18 Premier League for the first time since January as they travel to Crystal Palace Academy Training Ground to face the Eagles on Saturday (12pm KO).

The young City side are currently eighth in the U18 Premier League Table, four points behind Chelsea and trailing Brighton Hove & Albion by five.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are top of the league with 30 points, having won all but three games from 13 so far this season.

A win on Saturday for the Canaries wouldn’t change their position in the table but could possibly see them close down the space between them, Chelsea and Brighton to as little as just two points.

Last time out, the U18s fell just short of a comeback against Leicester at the Foxes’ training ground, taking a 4-3 loss after an early Terell Pennant hat-trick.

Goals from Jon Rowe, Oscar Thorn and Abu Kamara got the Canaries within one of the hosts, but Rowe’s late sending off would seal their fate as Leicester took all three points.

City last faced Palace earlier this season at the Lotus Training Centre, taking a 3-2 loss after a second half resurgence saw the Eagles come from two behind to take the win, scoring all three goals in just 21 minutes.

Under-18s midfielder Joe Duffy feels as if the side’s recent performances have been deserving of wins despite recent scorelines, adding that the team are looking to turn it around with this game ahead.

“We’re playing really well at the minute, but we’re struggling to find results. We’re going to take them performances and really try to turn them into them results, but that’s the same as every week. We’ve prepared well, analysed the opposition and we’re trying to get the result.

“It’s been quite a busy schedule for us these last few weeks and in the weeks ahead, but we’re all fit lads and we know we’re all up to match sharpness.

“We’ve had loads of games already this year and everyone’s getting loads of minutes, so we’re always ready for a game, whenever it is.”

But a lack of results doesn’t get the young Canaries down, according to Duffy, who says that they know the development comes first in the U18 Premier League.

“We’re all young and the talent in this squad is ridiculous, we’ve got so many talented players, but we’re a young team, we’re going to make mistakes.

“When we’re older we’ll be more mature and experienced for the results, but right now it’s all about development. Not everything is about results, but we want to try and add that to our game if we can match the performances.

“We go into every game trying to win but the table doesn’t mean everything to us, and we know we’re in and amongst it.

“Every team has got different philosophies on how they want to play; we go into each game trying to get the three points and focus on that performance.”


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