U21 Preview: U21s sign off Eppleton vs Forest

SAFC Under-21s once again take to the field on Monday night for the penultimate time in the Premier League 2 this season, and for the final time at home as Nottingham Forest become the last visitors of 2022-23 (KO 7pm).


Graeme Murty and John Hewitson will be seeking a positive finish to the campaign as our Academy staff plan ahead for next season, with a number of U18 players being rewarded with a step up following solid individual years across the age groups. First-team players requiring match sharpness ahead of a busy run-in in the Sky Bet Championship season may also play some part in the contest.


Due to youth loan parameters which apply to each of our U21 players currently on loan deals with non-league clubs, these players are still eligible to feature in U21 competition such as the PL2, and some – such as Harry Gardiner currently at South Shields – could be picked.


The young Lads’ current position of eighth is the highest possible place we could finish this season, as we look to maintain the gap over Newcastle United and Stoke City, with Derby County virtually certain to finish at the foot of the table.


Opponents Forest have enjoyed an incredible turnaround which happened to begin with a 1-0 win against the Lads in Alfreton before the turn of the year, the side’s first league points at the fifth attempt. Since losing their first four, Forest have since gone unbeaten in 13 in the PL2 – winning 11 – and as a result now sit second, just three points behind Leeds United in the sole automatic promotion place to PL2 Division 1. October’s reverse fixture saw Forest – also into the last four of the PL Cup – edge the match via a free-kick winner from Ateef Konate, now on loan at Oxford United.


Tickets for our U21 Eppleton finale are available via the e-ticketing site on safc.com, or on the gate (card payments ONLY accepted) at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.


SAFC Season Card holders and Eppleton Season Card holders are admitted free of charge to U21 home fixtures.


Due to Premier League broadcast restrictions, we are unable to live stream Monday night’s game. Social media coverage will however be available via our dedicated Academy Twitter page, @AcademyOfLight. 

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