Serrar’s pride as U18s romp to league title


U18 boss Hamza Serrar spoke of his pride after his team secured the Professional Development League 2 – South title in record time.

The young Addicks were crowned regional champions with six games remaining following a 2-1 win at Bristol City at the weekend. Their record in their 18 league games, so far, stands at 15 wins, two draws and just one defeat, which came on the opening day of the season.

Indeed, the youngsters have conquered in style, holding a 19-point lead to their nearest challengers in second and possessing a goal difference of +39 having plundered a hugely-impressive 63 goals along the way.

“I don’t think it’s ever been achieved before in the PDL U18 league but that’s credit to the players who apply themselves,” beamed Serrar.

“We have a really talented group and, of course, the staff that work with them day in, day out. It just goes to show that we have a very good football and holistic programme, including education and everything else, so it’s a really proud moment not just for myself, but for the academy and the club as a whole.”

What makes the achievements this term all the more impressive is the fact that the success has been spearheaded by the younger first-year scholars, who will not turn 18 until the 2022/23 season.

And Serrar says it is down to their dedication both on and off the field.

“I think we have the youngest team in the league which means the future is really bright for this young, talented group of footballers.

“There’s no real secret, I think it’s just hard work, dedication, creating the winning culture and a togetherness within the group so the boys really work hard for each other and understand the concept as a full-time professional footballer and they bought into it.

“It’s credit to them and to their families, parents and everybody involved with it.”

He added: “It’s credit too, to everybody in the club because whether they go in the canteen or in the physio room or the kit department or transport department, they see people working hard and taking care of the details of the work that they do, so it becomes a nature and I think that’s what we’ve managed to achieve in this academy - to create that culture of just working hard, believing in yourself and expressing yourself and it’s something to be proud of.”

The U18s now have six league games left to prepare for their play-off campaign which will see them take on the second-placed team in the Professional Development League 2 – North in the semi-finals for the right to head to the final and challenge to be crowned national champions.


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(Transcription by Gregg Baxter)

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