With the 2022/23 Under-18 Professional Development League season having come to a conclusion earlier this month, we round-up a successful campaign for the under 18s, finishing in third-place in the league and becoming double cup winners.

Season round-up

The under 18s kicked off their Professional Development League campaign with a 2-0 loss to Ipswich Town at the idverde Training Ground, followed by defeats to Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic. Posh picked up their first victory of the season at the end of September, beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 after a goal from Joel Odei-Larbi.

That started off a winning run of three games on the bounce, with victories over Birmingham City, Crewe Alexandra and Barnsley. Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s men rounded off the calendar year (2022) by picking up four points in the final three games.

The New Year didn’t start much better for Posh with back-to-back defeats in the opening two games, but this kicked started an excellent run of form for the under 18s as they went on an eight-game winning run, including an emphatic 5-0 victory over Colchester United and a 4-0 win over Burnley.

A defeat to Bristol City at the beginning of April ended their unbeaten run, but that didn’t faze the youngsters as they went on to secure another five consecutive victories to help Posh finish third in the table, just three points behind Sheffield United in third-place.

Cup success

In the Professional Development League Cup, Posh breezed through the group stage after victories over Bradford City (2-1) and Huddersfield Town (5-2), plus a 2-2 draw to Crewe Alexandra, saw them progress to the knockout stages without a defeat.

Campbell-Ryce’s men then faced Doncaster Rovers in the quarter-final of the competition and a late goal from Torin Ntege secured a 2-1 win in injury-time. Colchester United were the next opponents for Posh at the idverde Training Ground in the semi-final and it was last-minute drama once again as a strike from Janos Bodnar saw them overcome The U’s and book their place in the final.

Posh faced Birmingham City in the final of the competition at the Weston Homes Stadium and goals from Tyler Winters, James Dornelly and Ntege saw them lift silverware, progressing to the Premier League Cup next season.

The under 18s also enjoyed success in the David Joyce Cup by lifting that title in April. Posh began their journey in the competition after an 8-0 victory over Wellingborough Whitworth before a narrow win over Kettering Town.

Lifting David Joyce

A 3-0 victory over Northampton O.N. Chenecks booked their place in the final and became David Joyce Cup winners following a comfortable win (5-0) over Daventry Town at The Victoria Mill Ground.

In the FA Youth Cup, Posh welcomed local rivals Northampton Town U18s to the Weston Homes Stadium in the second round. The Cobblers took a two-goal lead, but Bayley McCann and Joe Toynton brought the game back level. However, in the fifth minute of added time, Reuben Wyatt completed a hat-trick to see his side progress to the next round of the competition.

Top Goalscorer

Forward Reuben Marshall finished the season as the under 18s top goalscorer, netting an impressive 24 goals in 33 appearances. He also netted two goals in nine appearances for the under 21s this season.

Reuben Marshall

The youngster was the club’s second-highest goalscorer, finishing two goals behind Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Tyler Winters also reached the 20-goal mark for the under 18s, including netting eight goals in the final seven games of the season.

New contracts

There was a number of under 18s who received a Professiona Development Contract throughout the 2022/23 campaign. Defender, Janos Bodnar, was the first player to be handed a two-year contract in August.

The Hungarian full-back was called-up to the first team in their FA Cup First Round Replay against Salford City at the Peninsula Stadium and was an unused substitute.

Harry Titchmarsh

Midfielder Harry Titchmarsh also signed a two-year professional development contract with the club in October and was part of the first team squad in the Papa John’s Trophy fixture against Stevenage in August, being an unused substitute.

Dornelly then became the third player to be handed a professional development contract, putting pen to paper last month after a successful campaign with the under 18s in which he has captained the side most of the season in the absence of Bodnar.

Following the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, Reuben Marshall and Ben Challinor both put pen to paper on a one-year professional development contract.