Sheffield United: Blades kids tap in to Kewell info

John Dungworth
John Dungworth

Harry Kewell, the former Leeds and Liverpool winger, has been helping Sheffield United devise a plan to win today’s Professional Development League under-21 play-off against Charlton Athletic.

John Dungworth, whose team qualified for the end-of-season knockouts last month, first met Kewell when the two worked together at Elland Road over a decade ago.

Ben Whiteman

Ben Whiteman

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s visit to The Valley, Dungworth revealed how the Australian proved a vital source of information when they rekindled their friendship before the U-18s game at Watford nine days ago.

“Harry is the U-21 coach at Watford now and they played Charlton very recently,” Dungworth explained. “He was very open about everything and gave us some really good information about how they had gone about things.

“I’d travelled down to watch the ‘18s’ game and had a good chat with him afterwards. Hopefully we can put some of the things he told us to good use because we’re expecting a very tough match.”

United were beaten 3-0 by Charlton at Stocksbridge Park Steels’ Look Local Stadium in September. But, as Dungworth explained, his squad now has a very different look to the one which faced the Londoners.

“A lot of the lads have recently stepped up a level to the U-21s,” Dungworth said. “So there’s quite a few new faces involved.

“Obviously, to get where they are, results have been good and so, because of that, so is the confidence.”

United, whose U-18s are also scheduled to meet Charlton in the PDL final after triumphing 3-1 at Vicarage Road, could be bolstered by the presence of first-team members Ben Whiteman, Louis Reed and Graham Kelly in the capital when they kick off at 1pm.

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who was recently recognised by England at youth level, is also expected to feature.

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