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Academy Round-Up: February 16

16 February 2023

This week's update from the Newport County AFC Academy is available to read now!

This week in the academy has been a particularly busy one. The Foundation Phase and Youth Development Phase have had a full week of training at the Velodrome 3G. With a combination of 15s and 16s being involved in a competitive friendly against Pontypridd’s U19 squad.

The week also saw the U18 take on Cheltenham Town in an Alliance League fixture. The 18s were comfortable 3-0 winners in a game that saw Kiban Rai and Tom Stokes score within the first 30 minutes before Noah Preston-Watkins scored a 3rd with 20 minutes to go. Late in the game, Ben Haines confirmed the clean sheet with a save from the penalty spot.

The busy week continued into the weekend with nearly every player involved in a fixture. The 16s and 18s travelled away to play Portsmouth. The 18’s lost 5-2 in a competitive game that saw Newport play over 45 minutes without a recognised Goalkeeper. Tom Stokes was able to finish off a great team goal in the first half to make it 1-1. A great switch of play from Harrison Page found a first-time cross from Mal Graham before Stokes finished with a first-time volley. Evan Cadwallader also got on the score sheet for County, with the Centre-back scoring from a corner in the second half.

The 16s played out an extremely competitive game away at Portsmouth and were 3-2 down with ten men, chasing the game and looking to find an equaliser when they were caught on the break to concede a sucker punch and lose the game 4-2. But the players worked hard and remained competitive through a challenging game. The 16s are back in action twice this week as part of the EFL’s U17 floodlit cup that will see a combination of U16 and U17’s take on Bristol Rovers on Wednesday and Cheltenham Town on Saturday. The U18s only have one game this week, with a rearranged fixture against Plymouth to take place on Thursday.

The schoolboy age groups of U9 to U15 were also in action this week, with fixtures arranged away at Cardiff. The players competed well across age groups and enjoyed some local fixtures with Cardiff City. The schoolboys now have a full week of training ahead before some players will be involved in a weekend of EFL festivals to enjoy and some more mid-week fixtures against Pontypridd.

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