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Morning Leeds-in for 18 April: Leeds United U18s reach divisional playoffs

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Leeds United v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ryan Browne/Getty Images

Even when the first team has proven to be a disappointment at Leeds this season, at least the Academy teams are playing well.

The U18s reached the divisional playoffs after beating Ipswich Town today. They joined Bolton Wanderers in the North division, with Crystal Palace in the South.

The U18s were not as successful last season, in part because of the number of players that had to jump up to the U23s because of the shortage of players in that squad. Adam Underwood, manager of the Leeds Academy, said to the Yorkshire Evening Post last month that:

For the majority of the 23s games last season, a lot of 18s were having to fulfil what we’d normally expect young pros to do.

It had a knock on effect with the results and it was too much for a lot of them - a great experience but it was a losing team.

That’s the one thing that’s really changed - the whole environment around the 23s and the 18s. There were 18s getting pushed up which was decimating them. Now we’ve got two, full healthy groups

In the future, the biggest takeaway from this season will hopefully be all of outstanding youth players that were in the Academy. From Tom Pearce, Paudie O’Connor, Hugo Diaz, and Bailey Peacock-Farrell all making their first team debuts to the U23s putting in some outstanding performances, to the U18s now winning 18 matches and qualifying for the playoffs, the kids really, truly, are alright.

On to the links.

Leeds United Links

Leeds players donated to the local food bank. [Leeds]

Latest transfer rumours have Leeds linked to Sheffield Wednesday keeper Kieren Westwood. [Through It All Together]

Yesterday marked the 17th anniversary of Leeds getting past Deportivo La Coruña and making the semi-finals of the Champions League. [Yorkshire Evening Post]

England and English Football Links

Accrington Stanley were promoted to League One. []

Everton is asking fans to rate manager Sam Allardyce. This won’t end well. [The Independent]

World Football Links

A look at how Mexico is preparing for this summer’s World Cup. []

Barcelona was held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo after going down to 10 men. [Barca Blaugranes]

Third division Les Heribers made the French Cup final. []

Speaking of France, a look at how tiny Guingamp have managed to stay in Ligue 1. [The Independent]