Academy Notes: Ralfi Hand

Charlton Athletic U17 midfielder Ralfi Hand spoke to Valley Gold for Academy Notes following the recent 2-1 defeat at home to Southampton in the U17 Premier League Cup.

Ralfi joined the Addicks from Gillingham just over a year ago and describes himself as a powerful and technical midfielder who doesn’t mind contributing with a goal or two. A first-year scholar, he hopes to become more mobile to help his team in and out of possession, and speaking after the narrow defeat, he told Valley Gold:

“We made a very fast start to the game, pushing the opposition back in the first minutes and won a free kick on the edge of the box early on. I think we played well, and it was an even game until just before the break when the visitors took the lead. We went in at half-time knowing that we had chances which if we had exploited could have seen a very different scoreline.

“The second half began with us scoring in the first minute of the half. This was a perfect start and allowed us to gain a little bit of momentum and shocked Southampton to give us a real push in the opening 10 minutes, but just after the hour, they were awarded a penalty which broke all our momentum. The referee pointed to the spot after a challenge inside the area saw their player fall to the ground. The Southampton penalty taker dispatched the ball past our keeper to give them a 2-1 lead.

“The final half-hour was extremely open with us chasing an equaliser and Southampton doing all they could to protect their advantage. Unfortunately, we were not able to find a break giving the Saints all three points, and although we lost the game by a narrow margin we didn’t let this get to us and had some good chances. On another day we could’ve walked away victorious.”

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