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Rees focuses on bigger picture despite first defeat for Cardiff U18

Pathway | 20th January 2023

Gruff Rees believes Cardiff U18’s defeat to Ospreys on Wednesday will be beneficial for the pathway in the long-term.

Despite a late fight-back, the young Blue and Blacks side suffered their first defeat of the season as they were made to pay for missed opportunities and a lack of discipline.

However, Rees insists it was a learning opportunity for the entire group, as preparations now turn to the visit of RGC to the Arms Park next week.

“I went home after the game certainly a bit disappointed, more with the performance than the result,” explained the academy manager.

“However, having reflected on the evening - and watched the game back in some detail - it was probably the most valuable game of the season in terms of talent ID and who could make the step up with plenty of players showing positive technical and behavioural aspects but also clearly some struggling under pressure and some deficiencies out there.

“Some of this can be attributed to the lack of continuity in the block, although creating these development opportunities are imperative.

“There are aspects of our preparation and application that we must continually review whilst it creates good question for myself on Aled to reflect on the journey from 15 to 18 and how we can also get greater tactical and set-piece understanding. 

“In the short term, it is an important game review for the coaches and creating clarity and growth for the remainder of the block."