U18s open up against Queens Park Rangers in newly-formed
Professional Development League Two - South
Gary Haines reports
Steve Avory wants Charlton's youngsters to embrace
the revamped U18 calendar after the 2012/13 fixtures were
unveiled on Friday morning.
The introduction of the Elite Player Profile Performance
Plan (EPPP) has seen the Addicks given Category Two status,
and they will thus compete in the new U18 Professional
Development League Two - South.
The Addicks have been handed an away trip to Queens Park
Rangers to kick-off their season on Saturday, August 18th,
and they host Barnet in their home opener at Sparrows Lane
a week later before travelling to Colchester United on the
first day of September.
Charlton will also face Welsh duo Cardiff City and Swansea
City in their schedule as well as derbies against Brentford
and Millwall. There are also matches against Brighton &
Hove Albion, Bristol City and Ipswich Town, the latter who
visit Sparrows Lane on the last day of the season, April
After that the winners and runners-up take on those ranked
second and first respectively in League 2 - North with the
victors facing each other to be crowned second tier
"It's a little bit into the unknown because some of these
teams were centres of excellence before the restructuring
of the academies," said Charlton's academy manager.
"That doesn't mean they are weaker. I know from friendly
games that we have played against Millwall and Queens Park
Rangers in the past that they've been competitive
encounters and they are now on our fixture list. Queens
Park Rangers is a tough game to start with.
"We play Swansea, which is a new one and an interesting
game. We haven't played them very much through the years.
"Then you have Brighton, who I know play attractive
football and I believe they did very well in the league
Categorically speaking, the Addicks will not face league
matches against local rivals such as Arsenal, Chelsea and
Tottenham Hotspur, who are all ranked a level higher. The
younger age groups, from U19 to U14 level will not be
affected by the change.
And Avory admitted: "We are disappointed from an U18 and
U16 point of view as the categorisation means we are not
playing the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
"Of course that's disappointing that they are not on the
fixture list, but we are where we are at this moment in
"As we ambitiously move towards Category One, which
is where we want to be, I think what we have to do is
embrace the fixture list really. Certainly, we will not
take anything for granted."
The complete U18 fixture list will be revealed on
www.cafc.co.uk later today.