Steve Avory previews U18s’ PDL Cup semi-final


Academy Manager Steve Avory is anticipating a physical, competitive showdown on Saturday when Charlton's U18s take on Coventry City in the Professional Development League Cup semi-final.

The young Addicks secured their passage through to the final four of the competition with a 2-0 win over Barnsley at Sparrows Lane, thanks to second-half strikes from Toby Bower and Mack Reilly.

“Coventry are currently at the top of the North league and we are top of the South,” said Avory. “I’m looking forward to the game as we haven’t played Coventry this season. I expect a very physically demanding game, very competitive but that is what we expect up there. 

“Our U18 squad will always threaten the opposition no matter what starting 11 we put out. With our attacking play, we have every reason to feel confident about getting through to the final of that competition.”

The Addicks’ U18s are on the verge of sealing the Professional Development League 2 - South title and Avory lauded the depth within Hamza Serrar’s squad. 

“The fact is we are here with seven league games to go but 18 points clear in the league,” he added. “In Saturday’s game against Cardiff, when the lads won again, we certainly utilised the squad because a number of the lads have been with the U23s in this past week, but once again they proved what depth there is in the squad. 

“We feel that we have almost achieved the aim of winning that league; there has to be a dramatic slip up for us to lose it. By gaining that top spot we know we are through to the national play-off semi-final at the end of the season. 

“There is going to be quite a lot of knockout football for this group and there has been already this season with their run in the FA Youth Cup. It is now a case of whether they can push on and get over that final hurdle by winning trophies and being successful.”

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