U21 Preview: Norwich City vs SAFC U21

SAFC Under-21s get the ball rolling on the 2022-23 Premier League 2 season on Friday afternoon, taking on Norwich City at the Lotus Training Centre (KO 2pm).


With a large number of the U21 squad currently gaining vital educational experience on tour in Canada, there will be ample opportunity for several scholars – both first and second year – to show their potential at PL2 level.


Team news


Kicking off the 2022-23 campaign for the young Lads will be a largely youthful group, most of whom selected from the club’s Under-18s. Many of the teenage starlets will be making U21 level debuts, with the team being led by Individual Youth Development Coach Alex Ackerley. Also travelling is 15-year-old Chris Rigg, who showed incredible potential for the Academy in last season’s U15 Floodlit Cup triumph.


Regular U21 players Harrison Sohna, Caden Kelly and Michael Spellman make the trip to Norfolk, along with goalkeeper Harrison Bond.




Norwich City finished fifth in last season’s Premier League 2 Division 2, winning 12 and losing 11 of their league games.


The two meetings between the clubs at Development level in 2021-22 first resulted in a 4-3 win for the Canaries on Wearside in August last year, before the young Lads carved out an impressive 1-1 draw at Carrow Road in April – Kelly’s goal and a sensational goalkeeping display from Jacob Carney securing a point.


From the Dugout


Ackerley is currently overseeing the majority of age-level scholars who will be in action on Friday afternoon, and will lead on taking the reins for the club’s PL2 curtain-raiser.


He said of the encounter: “We’re expecting the game to be a tough test for a relatively young squad, with some of the U21 group in Canada on tour.


“There has been a big effort from staff all across the Academy to support the group for their first game over the last few weeks and we see it as a great opportunity for some scholars to challenge themselves at PL2 level. The more senior lads can also use the chance to set their standards for the season to come.”




There will be no streaming of Friday afternoon’s game, but updates will be active on the club’s newly-launched Academy Twitter page - @AcademyOfLight

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