Welcome back to the Juvenil Roundup! It’s been a busy month in the Real Madrid youth levels as both Juvenil A and Juvenil B got their seasons off to the perfect starts with a cumulative eight wins out of eight so far. In this edition of the roundup, I’ll briefly recap the month and review the standout performance of the month so far as well as some individuals that have impressed me this month.
Juvenil A top Group five of the Division de Honour on goal difference having won all five of their opening fixtures this month. They opened the campaign with a 6-0 demolition of Burgos and put nine past a helpless Aravaca side just under two weeks ago. Dani Poyatos side also won their first UEFA Youth League match of the season, beating PSG 2-1 away from home.
That win in Europe has been the standout performance so far, PSG and Real Madrid have history in the Youth League and were tied two wins a piece coming into the game. It was a tough and physical first half, but Juvenil A were edging it when goalkeeper Luis Lopez made a mistake, hesitating from a kick-out and allowing the former La Masia midfielder Xavi Simmons to pounce and finish just before halftime.
Real bounced back superbly in the second half thanks to the efforts of Jordi who scored the equaliser and assisted the go ahead goal within seven second half minutes. Real controlled a large stretch of the game after going in front, but couldn’t add to the lead. PSG then had a flurry of opportunities towards the end of the game but Lopez redeemed himself with several great saves to secure all three points in Paris.
Several players have caught my eye this month, mostly at the back despite Juvenil A’s prolific attack. Pablo Ramon and Sergio Santos have been particularly impressive to start the campaign. Santos has continued his excellent form from last year, starting every game at full back so far. Pablo Ramon has also been outstanding in the centre of defence both individually and in guiding his defensive line.
October doesn’t throw up the hardest domestic fixtures with a game against Raul’s hometown club Móstoles URJC, the most difficult on paper. Europe is a different matter as Juvenil A play Club Brugge and Galatasaray. Should they win those two encounters, they will be in a great position to qualify for the knockout rounds.
Juvenil B established a two point lead at the top of Group 12 Liga Nacional table with a 1-0 win over Rayo Ciudad Alcobenda. Manu Fernandez side have played three games so far and have taken all three points from each and, as with their under-19 counterparts, Getafe gave Juvenil B the most trouble on the opening day of the season.
Getafe were the only team to beat Juvenil B last year and were keen on at least getting a point when they visited on the opening day. It took the home team until late in the second half to score, Javi Reuda connecting from a set piece. Getafe promptly responded, taking advantage of a wicked deflection off a Juvenil B defender to equalize. The goal sparked wild celebrations from the modest away crowd which might give you an impression of what this match means for those who support Getafe youth football.
Javier Llancho eventually scored the winner with just three minutes left to play. The goal was a messy mis-mash of shots which eventually found its way into the back of the net and secured a vital three points to kick off the campaign.
It was from this match that Juvenil B’s most impressive individual this month emerged. Marvel Garzon has only played against Getafe so far, but the display was very impressive. The centre back was such a cool customer in possession and demonstrated some potential to play further up the pitch with his assist for Juvenil B’s opening goal. The 16-year-old has returned to Juvenil C since that game and its clear Manu Fernandez doesn’t see him as an option with a fully fit squad, however any potential injury blow at centre back will now certainly be eased knowing that Marvel is an option.
With only the league to contend with, fixture congestion doesn’t pose as much as an issue for Juvenil B as it does for Juvenil A. They will face third place Moratalaz next week and will play games against most of the top six before the end of the month. It’s a true test of Manu Fernandez coaching credentials and provides this generation a chance to show their title credentials.