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U18 Premier League: Top performers from Saturday 7th January 2023


The U18 Premier League returned from the Christmas break over the weekend. Four fixtures took place in the north which saw some huge wins for teams down the bottom. There was also a big change at the top of the table as a new side leads the pack. Here are the standout stars from the first game week of 2023.

Dajaune Brown, Derby County

[Photo by DCFC Media]

Derby County suffered a miserable start to this season but bounced back from the Christmas break with their second win of the season. The Rams claimed a 4-2 victory over Stoke City helped by Dajaune Brown grabbing two goals. This was Brown’s first appearance for the U18s this season and he certainly made an impact, matching his goal tally from last season at this level already. The forward scored twice in the opening 12 minutes to put Derby in control of the game.

Cameron Ashia, Derby County

[Photo by Meta 2023]

Cameron Ashia ran the show for Derby in their victory at Stoke. He matched Brown’s tally of two goals and also grabbed an assist. His goals either side of half-time grew the lead to four as the 10-man Rams survived a late comeback attempt to earn their first win since October. These were Ashia’s first goal contributions of the campaign and what a great time to open his account as Derby try to build momentum in 2023. Ashia is playing his first season at U18 level and has featured in every league match for the Rams so far.

Joel Ndala, Manchester City

[Photo by Charlotte Tattersall]

It feels like I write about Joel Ndala every week but that just shows the incredible season he is having. The winger added another goal and assist to his tally in Manchester City’s 3-0 victory against Newcastle United. The victory saw them overtake Sunderland to claim top spot in the U18 Premier League North. Ndala’s goal takes him to double figures in the league this season in just 11 appearances. The 16-year-old also added his fifth assist of the season which sees him joint top of the goal contribution charts in the league. He sits level with teammate Matthew Whittingham (six goals and nine assists) with 15 contributions apiece.


by Lloyd Boating-Bailey

Three fixtures took place in the south providing entertaining match-ups. There were many individuals who impressed in game week 12 for their various teams however three players’ that stood out for me were:

George Earthy – West Ham United

[Photo by West Ham Media]

George Earthy was influential in West Ham United’s 4 – 0 win against Crystal Palace. The 18-year-old playmaker scored a very individual solo goal to double his side’s lead in the 13th minute. He has now contributed three goals in seven appearances for the Young Irons in the U18 Premier League Southern section. His contribution for West Ham’s win currently keeps their 100% winning record still intact. Kevin Keen’s side are currently top of the U18 Premier League South League on 33 points and 15 points clear of second placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Omari Benjamin – Arsenal

[Photo by David Price]

Omari Benjamin continues to be the shining light for the Young Gunners. The 17-year-old attacker opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 11th minute, after his initial shot was saved off the line. He then expertly swivelled as his half-volley went past the diving Henry Bullen and then into the net. Omari Benjamin’s strike was his sixth goal of the league campaign in seven appearances. His goal on Saturday helped Arsenal to a hard-fought win against their opponents. This victory for Arsenal also ended their four-game winless streak in the league.

Callum Marshall – West Ham United

[Photo by Shaun Botterill]

Callum Marshall continues to be a reliable goal scorer for the Young Irons. He got on the scoresheet in West Ham’s 4 – 0 win against London rivals Crystal Palace. For West Ham’s third goal the 18-year-old Northern Irishman was in the right place at the right time to tuck away the third goal for his side. He also demonstrated good anticipation skills to react to get his shot away at the second time of asking, after his initial shot was blocked by a Crystal Palace defender. Callum Marshall’s eight league goals are one of the reasons why West Ham United are currently sitting comfortably top of the league with 33 points.

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