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    YOUNG GUNS BLOG


    page originally posted : Sat, 7 Mar 20
    Young Guns






    Jordan Davies (Brighton and Hove Albion)
    Signing as a fulltime professional with Wrexham in 2016 after the completion of a successful career as a youth team player with the club, Jordan was loaned out to Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League for the 2016/17 season. He made an immediate impact, gaining a good amount of praise from some well respected judges of football talent for the displays he produced. This soon created interest in scouting departments of other clubs and Wrexham were approached with regard to negotiating a possible transfer. Brighton were the successful bidders and so Jordan moved to the south coast club in January 2017. A Championship club at that time, but strong favourites for promotion, their fans duly celebrated at seasonís end, as elevation into Premier League competition was secured. Preserving their status in elite company since that time has required continually investing funds to sign high quality additions to the first team squad. Recruited as a potential first team contender rather than one to make immediate impact, Jordan was assigned as a member of the U-23 squad upon his arrival. The subsequent developments since then, has on one hand increased the difficulty of first team involvement substantially, but also provided benefit of training amongst those who exhibit the quality he aspires to achieve. Though he seems to have fared well with around a half century of appearances for the Brighton U-23 team, Jordanís career progression would most likely be best served by playing first team football as soon as possible. We shall have to watch and see what transpires.

    Oliver Ewing (Leicester City)
    As a schoolboy, at that time affiliated to Fulham, Oliver captained the Wales team that competed in the last seasonís Victory Shield tournament. He was also a member of the squad that played in it in 2017/18 season which is an indication of the high quality of his ability. Since then, he has transferred his allegiance to Leicester and this season is his first year of being a scholar at the club. Other than a period of a few games when he was unavailable through injury, he has been a regular member of the U-18 team that is having a reasonably successful season it its division of the U-18 Premier League. This season, he has also been a member of the Wales U-17 squad and after playing in the early season preparatory matches was selected for the squad to compete in the preliminary qualification round of the UEFA tournament for the age group. The consequence of the afore mentioned injury was that it occurred prior to those matches and so he was unavailable to assist the team. Good results achieved did ensure that the team progressed to the next stage of qualification for the finals, games that will be played in the latter part of this month. Assuming he has no fitness issues, it is most likely that Oliverís name will be one of those included in the soon to be selected squad for those matches.

    Jacob Jones (Swansea City)
    Jacob has appeared in many games for the Swansea U-18 team over the last three seasons, in particular last season when he did so in almost all of their games after having played in almost a double digit number of ones the previous one as an associated schoolboy with the club. This season, he is a second year scholar, but has not been involved in very many games. I have to admit my ignorance of a factual reason, a guess is that injury may have played a part in his unavailability. He has added to his time on the field with a few appearances for the U-23 team, having also been similarly involved with that team last season as well. During the early weeks of the season, Jacob played his first representative game for a Wales team when part of the U-19 squad playing in a mini tournament in Denmark. He was then selected in the squad for a couple of friendly matches, as the team continued preparations for an upcoming competitive tournament. It is a likely clue that he has been sidelined with injury issues as he had to withdraw his name as unavailable prior to those games being played.

    Owen Pritchard (Cardiff City)
    I think Owen is a first year scholar at the club, although sites I explore to verify the fact provide me with conflicting evidence and so in this case I cannot express a confidence of being as correct as possible when making the comment. I do think it is the most likely scenario for Owenís emergence as an integral component of the Cardiff U-18 team this season. Making a couple of appearances off the bench in the late part of last season was his initial contribution to the team play. This season he has had a starting role in the large majority of the games that have been played by the team to this point, a sign of the confidence of the coaching staff has in his ability. My interpretation of the information I have available, is that he operates in a wing back role for the team. Again, being speculative rather than factual, my guess is that he has a birthdate in late 2002 and if so, his name will be another in a comprehensive list of quality players that coaches will be assessing for inclusion in next seasonís Wales U-19 squad.

    Jamie Taylor (Bristol City)
    Over the last three seasons, Jamie has amassed a significant amount of game time representing the Bristol City U-18 team, making six appearances off the bench along with one starting assignment in the first of those, when still on schoolboy terms with the club. In his time as a scholar with them, he has added to his experience with involvement in U-23 team games and has featured in matches more than a dozen times at that level. It is coincidental that amongst those I have decided to include in this weekís blog, Jamie, as was the case with Oliver, is another who competed wearing a Welsh shirt in two Victory Shield campaigns, again an example of exhibiting a high quality at a very young age. Although part of his ambition will be to continue representing the nation through the age groups, his present attention will be focused towards matters at club level. As his time as a scholar moves toward its conclusion in the coming weeks, his aim will be to secure an offer of a contract to continue his development at the club. Receiving it would confirm a management decision that he has impressed them sufficiently, to believe he has the potential to forge a successful football career. - John Jones

    [photo embedded from FAW Cymru ]
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