Neil Harris is at the forefront of a Cardiff City Academy revolution.
The Bluebirds manager is delighted the Championship club are looking into upgrading the Academy to category one status – and have appointed a former Wales international to take charge of the under-23 development team.
Steve Morison, an English-born striker who qualified for Wales because his grandmother was from Tredegar, is the new development coach.
Morison played under Harris at Millwall and the Bluebirds boss is looking forward to working with him once again.
New under-23 manager Morison, who will work alongside interim coach Tom Ramasut, was in charge of his first development match. The young Bluebirds won 3-2 against Bristol City thanks to goals from captain Laurence Wootton, Mark Harris and Sion Spence.
The fixture was rearranged for Tuesday evening at Cardiff City Stadium after it had been postponed because of bad weather on Monday.
“It’s always nice to win, especially at Cardiff City Stadium,” said 20-year-old Wootton. “It was great to grab the first goal as well.
“I saw the ball scrambling around in the box, but didn’t think I was going to score. I tried to toe it against their goalkeeper in the hope that the ball would run loose for somebody else to score, but it went in.
“The new manager (Morison) has already brought a lot to the boys – a real passion for the game and a grit we all needed in the changing room.”
“The lads were really good and there are a lot of exciting times ahead,” said Morison. “There were lots of positive performances and the third goal from Sion Spence was different class.
“I’m really pleased that Sparky [Mark Harris] scored because he worked incredibly hard and his goal is one you get when you work hard, closing the goalkeeper down and scoring. It was excellent.
“We could have been better at the end and should have won 3-1, but gave them a chance and they nearly scored an equaliser as well. That’s all a learning curve.
“There is lots to work on, both individually with the players and as a collective because there are plenty of things people can do individually to make themselves better players.”
Cardiff went ahead through Wotton just before half-time, while Bristol City equalised through right-back Opi Edwards, who curled into the bottom left corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Harris put Cardiff in front again on 52 minutes and Spence scored from 25 yards with 19 minutes left, firing into the bottom right corner.
Louis Britton pulled one back, but the Bluebirds defended solidly to earn the win.
Cardiff City u-23: Matthew Hall, Cameron Coxe, Brad Smith, Tavio d’Almeida, Trystan Jones, Jack Bodenham, Sion Spence, Laurence Wootton (capt), Mark Harris (C Davies 90), Tom Sang (Shamar Moore 81), Ntazana Mayembe (Kieron Evans 56). Subs not used: Ryan Pryce, Warren Burwood (gk).
Bristol City u-23: Wollacott, Edwards, Webb, C Pearson, H Smith, Towler, Harper, JE Taylor, Britton, Hinds, Rees. Subs used: Scott, S. Pearson, Bell.