The lowdown on the young Saints' final Under-18s Premier League clash of the season, a trip to Norwich City...
Norwich City U18 vs Southampton U18
Under-18s Premier League
Colney Training Centre
Saturday 27th April, 11am BST
Southampton’s youngsters have the chance to cement their fourth place position in the Under-18s Premier League when travelling to bottom club Norwich City on Saturday morning.
The game wraps up a successful league campaign for Paul Hardyman’s side, having enjoyed a particularly productive second half of the season, despite a blip against Aston Villa a fortnight ago.
Nevertheless, Saints are well positioned to finish inside the top four, but could do with a win at the weekend to deter any late challenge from Brighton, who are a point shy in fifth.
The two sides last met back in early December at Staplewood Campus, where Saints ran out 4-1 winners, with four different scorers finding the net; Will Ferry, Enzo Robise, Taymar Fleary and Christian Norton.
Norwich’s lastest outing was at Leicester City, where they were beaten 3-1, but the Canaries tend to fare much better on home turf, and could move off the bottom with any share of the spoils. They’re currently locked on 11 points with Swansea.
COACH'S THOUGHTS: Paul Hardyman
"It’s been a long season," the Under-18s boss began. "People talk about it being a marathon rather than a sprint, and that’s pretty accurate.
"We’re looking forward to the last game, and then plans really begin for next year.
"It’s been a positive season overall, so we want to end it in the right way.
"Norwich will be in the same mindset as us, wanting to finish with a win. But it’s about what we do, as I always say.
"We can see the finish line, but I want to cross the line strongly. If I was to summarise the season, the key words would be development and progression.
"What’s rewarding for me is to see players in the Under-23s, and the first-team. As long as that keeps happening, we’re continuing to tick the right boxes."