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PREVIEW | First cup game at Rodney Parade this season sees Swansea City U23s visit in the CheckaTrade Trophy

9 October 2017

The Exiles play host to Swansea City U23s for the second successive season when the Swans visit Rodney Parade on Tuesday. The visitors will be looking to improve on their exploits from the competition last season, where they reached the quarter-finals. In reaching the last-eight, the Swans ensured they went the furthest of any of the Premier League academy teams, before losing on penalties to eventual tournament winners Coventry City.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this CheckaTrade Trophy encounter.

 

League form

The Young Swans currently sit 9th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table after one win, two draws and three defeats from their opening six matches.

They started the season with a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool, before securing their first point away at Manchester United. Kenji Gorre was the man to get the goal in the 1-1 draw, before the Swans were humbled at West Ham with a 5-2 defeat.

The goals on that occasion came courtesy of George Byers and Courtney Baker-Richardson, and the defeat clearly inspired the side, as they secured their first league win of the season with their own 5-2 success against Derby County thanks to a Wilfried Bony inspired performance.

Ex-Exile Oli McBurnie helped them secure a 2-2 draw at Tottenham in their next game, the striker then netting his fourth of the season against Man City, although it was a mere consolation in the 3-1 defeat.

That was their last league game, although they did play host to Celtic in the Premier League International Cup on 30th September. And the Young Swans started that cup campaign with a flurry of goals as they triumphed 6-0, setting them up perfectly for their visit to Rodney Parade.

 

Team-News

The Swans made five changes for their last game against Celtic, and a few are expected this time out as they fielded a trialist and some returning first-team players in that game.

It is also expected that they will line-up in a similar system to the one elected on matchday one of the competition when they went to Cheltenham Town.

 

Swans U23s vs Celtic: Lewis Thomas, Trialist (Tyler Reid, 51), Aaron Lewis, Ki Sung-Yueng (Adnan Maric, 63), Cian Harries, Joe Rodon (capt), Jordan Garrick (Daniel James, 74), Jay Fulton, Oli McBurnie, Adam King, Nathan Dyer.

 

SWANS U23s vs Cheltenham Town: Gregor Zabret, Tyler Reid, Aaron Lewis, Cian Harries, Joe Rodon (Capt), Jack Evans, Adnan Marić, Adam King, George Byers, Jordan Garrick (Kenji Gorrè, 61), Botti Biabi (Courtney Baker-Richardson, 53).

 

One to watch – Kenji Gorre

Age: 23

Position: Winger

Goals this season: 3

Previous clubs: Man City (Youth), Man Utd (Youth), Ado Den Haag (Loan), Northampton Town(Loan)

The effervescent Dutchman has started the season in decent form, netting three goals already this campaign.

And by all accounts, they have all been goal of the season contenders. The 23-year old got off the mark at Cheltenham Town on 15th August with a 30-yard freekick that curled into the bottom corner.

He made it two in two games with another sublime finish, this time away at Manchester United. Gorre picked the ball up in his own half, waltzed his way through the United defence and smashed a shot into the far corner.

His only other goal of the season came against Derby County, as the Dutchman enters the final year of his contract at Swansea.

He has been with the club since March 2013, being the U21s top scorer in 2014/15, as the side won the U21 Development League 2.

Since then, he has featured for the first-team only once, that coming on 24th May 2015 away at Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

The winger has also been sent out on loan twice by the Swans, to Ado Den Haag and Northampton Town. He didn’t fare too well back in his native homeland, however, only making five appearances for the club.

At Northampton, he settled a bit better, although only scored one goal in League 1 from 13 appearances.

Prior to ending up in South Wales, Gorre spent time with the academies of both Man City and Man Utd. He spent 11 years with the Red Devils, although never made the first-team squad so moved to Swansea for more opportunities.

 

 

Management staff – Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards

Son of legendary former Wales, Swansea City and Real Madrid manager John Toshack, Cameron Toshack is currently joint-manager of Swansea City U23s.

He has been in the position since 2015, having joined the club on 15th October 2013. Originally, Toshack was in sole management of the U18 side, although after leading them to back-to-back titles, waspromoted to the development team.

Before that, Toshack spent eight years as a team performance analyst for the FAW after a relatively low-key playing career.

The 47-year old had spells with both Swansea City and Bristol City, although never managed a competitive appearance for either club, before a brief stint at Cardiff City, making just five appearances.

Six appearances then followed at non-league Weymouth, where he scored the winner on his debut, before taking up the job with the FAW.

Gary Richards, meanwhile, had a much more distinct playing career before joining the coaching staff of Swansea U23s at the same time as Toshack.

The 54-year old actually started his career at the Swans, making over 60 appearances, before opting to test himself in the Swedish leagues.

But he returned to England within a year, ending up at Lincoln City and Torquay United before he joined the Exiles for the ill-fated 1988/89 season.

From County, he played for various clubs in the non-league, joining the coaching setup with the Swans in August 2011 after spending timeas a postman in the Welsh city.

 

The last time we met

The two teams met in the group stages of this competition last season.

And it was the visitors who took the points at Rodney Parade with a 2-1 victory.

Botti Biabi gave the away side the lead with a composed finish on 36 minutes, before future Exile Alex Samuel put the game beyond the Exiles with two minutes to go.

And although Jennison Myrie-Williams got a consolation in added-time, the Young Swans held on for victory in-front of 807 supporters at Rodney Parade.

 

How the group stands

Forest Green Rovers have already qualified from Southern Section Group E after winning both of their games so far.

A 2-1 win at Cheltenham Town a week ago secured their place in the next round, after securing a 2-0 victory over the Exiles in late August.

Swansea City U23s can also secure their place in the knockout stages if they beat the Exiles at Rodney Parade, after their own 2-1 victory at Cheltenham in the first group game.

A win will put the Exiles level with Swansea in second place of the group, although a point would still give County an outside chance of securing a place in the knockout-stages.

 

Officials

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Husband

Assistant Referee 2: Craig Taylor

Fourth Official: Mark Derrian

Huxtable is currently in his second season as a Football League referee.

This season, he has taken charge of 11 games, of which the last as a referee came on 30th September as Exeter City beat Morecambe 4-1. Six yellow cards were given out in that game, taking his season total to 43 yellow cards and a further red card.

Last season, his first in the Football League, saw Huxtable referee 38 matches. He gave out 140 yellow cards and brandished a further five red cards.

 

County Connection

Huxtable has refereed County on seven previous occasions, including once already this season. The Exiles have won three of the games in which Huxtable has officiated, losing the other four.

Interestingly, the game which he refereed County this season was the previous CheckaTrade Trophy game. Tom Owen-Evans and Robbie Willmott were both booked for County in the 2-0 defeat to Forest Green Rovers.

Last season, Huxtable refereed County on three occasions. The first of those came in the Exiles 2-1 defeat to Swansea City U’21’s in the Checkatrade trophy. Four yellows were given in that game, two to each side, Mark Randall and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb booked for County.

He then officiated the 4-1 FA Cup win over Alfreton Town. Josh Sheehan was booked for County, in one of three yellow cards.

The final game last season came in the 3-1 defeat to Blackpool. Another four yellow cards were given out, three to County, Dan Butler, David Pipe and Scot Bennett all booked.

Another three County games were officiated by Huxtable in the promotion season of 2012/13. The first came in County’s first competitive game at Rodney Parade, as the Exiles beat Nuneaton 4-0.

The second came in the 3-2 defeat to Woking. One card was given out to the visitors, none for County. The final game was County’s 4-1 win against Macclesfield. Three yellow cards were given to the visitors.

 

Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reminder – as this is a cup game, no live coverage will be shown through iFollow Exiles. Commentary by Charlie Brown and Richard Sheppard can, however, be found at the Match Centre.


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