Leeds United under 23s saw the Premier League Two Division Two title snatched from their hands – for now – after Stoke managed to draw with Crystal Palace on Monday.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead and looked like getting the win which would have resulted in Leeds U23s being crowned champions.
The Whites will now have to wait until the match against Aston Villa U23s on Friday and could confirm the title after that match instead. One point will be enough to see them go up as champions.
In reality, they’re champions in all but name with Stoke only able to beat them if they win all their games, Leeds lose all theirs and strive to somehow lose a 20-goal disadvantage.
It would be a well-deserved success for Leeds, who have been relentless all season long, beating Fulham U23s 7-1 and West Brom U23s 5-0 on their way to glory.
In fact, Leeds U23s have lost just four games out of 21 and several young players have stood out along the way.
Niall Huggins earned his senior debut due to his impressive form while Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville have grabbed the headlines [LeedsLive].
Now those youngsters will get a chance to prove themselves in the U23s top division, and will come up against the biggest clubs in the country.
It is the first time the Whites will compete in Premier League Two Division One, and it is quite an achievement having only gained category one status last year.
Now our brightest prospects will test themselves against the best young players in the country – though some could go out on loan or jump up to the senior team.
Gelhardt and Greenwood have scored 19 goals between them this year.
If they manage a similar feat next season they will prove their huge potential and show they are up there with the best in the country at their age.
Promotion could have wider ramifications for the club, too.
A successful academy will increase our appeal to young players across the country and Europe.
That will hopefully lead to more players like Summerville and Pascal Struijk arriving at Thorp Arch – both players were signed from Eredivisie clubs.
And with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, a manager who shows faith in young players, the future looks very bright at Leeds.
We are proud of the work being done in the younger age groups and a title win would be a great reward for the effort put in.
Hopefully, this builds our reputation and people begin to take notice of our stellar academy.
In other Leeds United news, View: ‘Huge’ – Gerrard claims Leeds-linked starlet is ‘the future’ & can go ‘all the way’.