U18s | Mitchell and Anderson preview Saturday's play-off semi-final

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Charlton's U18s take on Barnsley in the Professional Development League 2 play-off semi-finals at The Valley on Saturday (2pm) and young Addicks Zach Mitchell and Karoy Anderson are raring to go.

Hamza Serrar's side have enjoyed a hugely successful campaign, claiming the PDL2-South title with six games to spare following a 2-1 victory at Bristol City back in March.

Saturday's victors will take on either Sheffield United or Colchester United in the play-off final for the right to be crowned national champions.

Mitchell signed for the Addicks aged eight, initially as a midfielder though he is now a versatile centre-back. The defender said: "I'm buzzing for it. The Valley is a great arena with a great pitch. Having the fans there will give us an extra bit of motivation. It has been building up this whole season so hopefully we can go and deliver.

"It's fantastic that we can be at our home ground in front of the fans. Like I said it's going to give us that extra motivation that we need.

"The main thing is emphasising how important it is that we treat this game like any other, no complacency sets in and we focus on the task at hand."

Box-to-box midfielder Anderson, who has been with the Addicks for nine years, signed his first professional deal with Charlton back in October, committing his future to the club until at least 2024.

The 17-year-old said: "The Valley is a good place to play at. We have both been here for a long time and it is somewhere that we want to play week in, week out. Playing at The Valley is an honour.

“They are a physical team from the north, but we are ready for that battle. They will pose some technical and tactical threats. We have prepared well at the training ground with Hamza and we are ready for the test that they will bring."

Anderson scored an absolute beauty from outside the box against Cardiff City U23s at The Valley last month in a 6-1 victory. Terrell Agyemang teed up the midfielder, who curled home an unstoppable finish from 20 yards.

“It’s great playing with this team," Anderson added. "We have got players in every position that will always give 100%, are technically gifted and will always work hard. Playing with this team every week is a joy."

Mitchell highlighted what fans can expect to see from Anderson this weekend. “He's an all round midfielder, tidy and tenacious. He's got a bit of everything."

In return, Anderson was full of praise for his teammate. “He's physical, very good on the ball, drives forward from defence and is good at finding players. Being a midfielder it's good playing with Zach at the back because you get on the ball quite a lot."

Supporters can purchase tickets for Saturday's semi-final by clicking here.

Charlton fans can support the Academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club's Academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member.


(Article by Alex Forrest)

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