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Under-18s qualify for elite group play-offs

9 March 2015

Baggies earn narrow but vital win over Norwich

ALBION’S Under-18s clinched qualification for a place in the elite tier of the Barclays U18 Premier League play-offs on Saturday.

The Baggies claimed a narrow 1-0 home win over Norwich City thanks to a first-half own goal, which meant they finished fourth in the regular season of the Under-18 South League.

The top four teams from both the north and south league will now enter into a mini-competition, where they will play each other once to determine who wins the overall Barclays U18 Premier League.

Aaron Danks’ men will face Middlesbrough, Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs and Aston Villa over the course of the remaining weeks in the season.

It is an achievement which the academy can be immensely proud of according to the Under-18s boss.

“To finish in the top eight in the country out of 24 teams split across two leagues is a great achievement,” said Danks.

“Our recruitment system differs somewhat from other clubs in the elite section, we recruit from local areas.

“We have had to use the whole squad over the course of the season so far due to players going up and playing for our Under-21 teams, so to be involved in the elite group towards the end of the campaign is testament to the hard work the boys have put in.

“The players should be really proud of themselves.

“But, saying all that, we now have to start again and prepare right because we will be coming up against some of the best teams at this level over the next few weeks.

“It is going to be really competitive and is sure to give our boys a great test.”

Albion: Ross, Ezewele, Pritchatt, Field, Fitzwater, McCourt, Campbell (Sweeney 90’), Ward, Cater (Wright 60’), Edwards, Hallahan (Scrivens 75’).
Unused Subs: Moran, Elbouzedi.

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