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Development

Palace Under-23s Crowned League Champions

10 April 2018

Following results elsewhere, Crystal Palace’s under-23 side have been crowned champions of the Professional Development League (South).

With three games still to play this campaign, Richard Shaw’s team cannot be caught at the top of the division after Ipswich Town lost 4-3 to Hull City, meaning the Eagles have qualified for the end of season play-offs in pole position, securing a home tie against the runners-up of the northern section.

The two play-off places in that division are far from secured, with Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday currently occupying the top two positions, but Hull, Sheffield United and Leeds United all maintain slight hopes of overhauling them in the final couple of weeks of the regular season.

Shaw’s team have won 17 of their 26 games so far this campaign, and are currently on a four-game unbeaten run after beating Huddersfield Town 2-1 last week at Selhurst Park. The achievement has been made all the more impressive seeing as the Eagles finished bottom of the same league last season, during which the Palace boss blooded a number of academy players in a move that has proved incredibly fruitful.

As a result of finishing top of the table, Palace qualify for the play-off which will determine the national Professional Development League champions.

Their semi-final will be played at Selhurst Park during the week commencing 30th April, with the final set for the following week at either of the participants' home grounds which will be decided via a draw.

Meanwhile, Palace's under-18s team could also win the U18 Professional Development League title this weekend if they beat Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Paddy McCarthy's side are currently six points clear of second-placed Charlton Athletic and nine ahead of Millwall, who have a game in hand, meaning victory at the home of Forest will hand them an unassailable lead and secure them a play-off spot.


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