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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 9 Sep 22 : 08:17 :  refresh for updates

    To read all last season blog posts scroll through posts on the young guns page

    Ben Cabango (Swansea City) born 2000, Defender.
    A loan period with The New Saints during the first half of the 2018/19 season gave Ben his initial experience of first team football as he played regularly for them in Cymru Premier and European qualification games. It certainly proved beneficial for him, as the following season he made his Swans debut and continued in the team for the early season Carabao Cup matches. As the season progressed, he initially had bench time for Championship games and then in the second half of it, established himself as a regular starter in the team. He has remained a regular selection in the intervening time, the start of this season somewhat interrupted as he could not be fully incorporated in pre-season preparations due to his continuing recovery from an ankle injury that occurred in April.  Undoubtedly an important member of the Swansea defensive unit going forward, he will want to consolidate displaying his quality in Championship games and ensure selection as a member of the Wales World Cup squad. He will want to return into involvement at national level as his injury prevented his availability as the team secured that important win against Ukraine and the Nations Cup games played in that period.

    Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City) born 2002, Midfielder.
    Regarded as a player who could be hugely important for both club and country in the seasons ahead, Rubin is certainly someone whose abilities are praised by those who are knowledgeable in the game. After making a breakthrough and getting game time to get acclimatized to the demand of Championship matches two seasons ago, he became a fairly regular selection in the side last season. It was a mix of starting and substitute appearances as he gained the experience of how to influence matches to the benefit of team results. His start to this season was delayed as he overcame a pre-season injury and he will now want to gain the confidence of his manager, displaying that he is worthy of starting assignments that can move Cardiff into a position of challenging the leaders in the table. Somewhat of a surprise selection for the Euro’s squad in 2021, Rubin has not accumulated a great deal of time on the pitch for the senior side up to this point, but there is an expectation for him to be able to contribute significantly in the future.

    Dylan Levitt (Dundee United) born 2000, Midfielder.
    Making his association with United a permanent one in the summer after spending last season on loan with the club, Dylan will now want to propel his career in an increasingly positive direction as he ply’s his trade north of the border. During his loan spell, he often gained praise for his ability and received numerous man of the match ratings. Having shown that he is a capable operator in the Scottish Premiership, he will now want to improve his game enough to tempt a club at the next level of the football hierarchy to covet his skills. Of course, as an associated schoolboy and then in development football, he was a Manchester United player and did make one appearance for the senior side during his time there. Capped a dozen times at senior level, he has been a regular member of the squad for the past two seasons and has the potential to become a constant starting player for the team in the future.

    Rabbi Matondo (Rangers) born 2000, Forward.
    A schoolboy player with Cardiff City, Manchester City negotiated for him to join them as a scholar when he reached his sixteenth birthday. His progress at City was accelerated in order to be challenged by playing for the older development team when still eligible for the U-18’s and the club staff were pleased with his achievements. Bundesliga club Schalke 04 signed Rabbi in January 2019, then he was loaned to Stoke City in the second half of the 2020/21 season. On a season long loan with Belgian side Cercle Bruges last season, Rabbi caught the attention of many scouts in the game with some impressive displays and it was enough of a temptation for Rangers to negotiate to sign him this summer. He will now want to establish himself as a prominent player in the Scottish Premiership and develop his skills well enough that other clubs will be considering bidding for his talent.

    The four young guns featured this week have all been regular members of the Wales squad when available in recent times and the qualities they have exhibited have added to the overall strengthening of its depth. They are not considered as obvious starting options for a full strength squad at present, but certainly have the potential of becoming so in the future. As young players, they are still in the process of adding those necessary elements to their game that will take them to a standard of consistently operating at a high level. It may be obligatory for them to so to retain their places, as indications are, that selection to the squad will become even more demanding in future. Several youngsters are making rapid progress at club level, suggesting they are on a trend that will provide the management team with added options competing for selection consideration before too long. The strength in depth of the squad has already been demonstrated by the ability of the team to be competitive even when some key players have been unavailable. Hopefully, I am correct in my assumption that this strength will continue to develop in a positive manner as we move forward. Along with the three mentioned last week, more than a quarter of the squad is represented by young guns, a definite salute to the Welsh Way and a commendation for the coaching staff in implementing the elements that has given us fans a good deal of pleasure lately. Of course, the big test is scheduled for later in the year, but the upcoming matches in a couple of weeks are also important. It is not only the last opportunity to prepare for the November games but also a challenge to achieve the results that can retain their Nations League position at the elite level. I’m sure that all concerned will be united in their focus of giving the Red Wall an abundance of reasons for celebrations.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]
    Posted: Friday 9th September 2022
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