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    Young Guns update


    Young Guns by John Jones.
    For the next 2 versions of my contribution to the website, I am going to focus the attention on a number of young men who fall outside the age criteria that has been used as a sort of general definition of what categorizes a young gun. They are players from the 1992 and 1993 birth years who I think are making enough of an impact at their respective clubs and so deserve some amount of mention here. They are young enough for one to maybe make the assumption that they are still short of reaching the peak of their careers, thus having the possibility of plying their trade at a higher level of football than they presently occupy. Even without doing so, it should be conceded that it does take a good amount of talent to be able to make a living as a professional footballer and be given the credit they deserve for doing so.

    Billy Bodin (Bristol Rovers)
    Billy was a youth player at Swindon and then a member of the first team squad as a fulltime professional there for a couple of seasons. He made a number of appearances but could not quite secure a regular berth in the team and so moved on to Torquay upon his release. There it was quite the converse as he was quickly building toward a century of a selections for the team when a long term injury struck in his third season there. This coincided with the end of his contract but on return to fitness, he eventually secured a contract at Rovers after a successful trial period. He helped them to eventual promotion in their return season to the football league and is also assisting as they are thus far amongst the promotion candidates in League 1 this season.

    Jordan Cranston and Billy Waters (Cheltenham Town)
    Jordan was a regular member of the youth and then the U-21 team at Wolves but was allowed to leave and moved on to Notts County. There, he made regular appearances during the first half of the season but was then loaned out to Lincoln City. Another move saw him again in the National League, this time with Gateshead. Cheltenham, also in that same league at the time acquired his signature and he helped them gain promotion to League 2 with a regular place in the team. Billy joined Cheltenham in the summer of 2015 following his release from Crewe where he had made more than a couple of dozen appearances over 2 seasons. He made important contributions to the teams success last season and it is likewise for him and Jordan again this season as they consolidate their place back in the Football League.

    Dion Donohue (Chesterfield)
    After playing some seasons in North Wales, Dion moved to the English midlands to play and then Chesterfield offered him a chance to play fulltime football. In his first season with them he made sporadic appearances as he adjusted and has obviously built on that experience as he plays more regularly this season. He has certainly caught the eye at times with some very good displays and if he can continue in such fashion, a move into a higher grade is something that we may witness. In a relatively short time of playing for a living, he has done well and wishing him the best for the future.

    Michael Doughty (Queens Park Rangers on loan at Swindon Town)
    A player who has made a few appearances in the Premier League and also some in the Championship with his parent club and so has shown he has the potential to perform at those levels. It probably has not helped that relegation and the subsequent managerial changes have produced numerous personnel changes at the club, making it difficult for Michael to establish himself in the first team. He is certainly an integral part of the Swindon first team this season as he was when on loan there last season. Although a QPR player since his youth days, he does have a fairly extensive list of clubs on his resume through the loan system. Also evident is the fact that he has contributed his skills at these temporary assignments, with regular selection for first team duty as proof of it being so. It has helped him gain a good deal of experience along the way.

    Morgan Fox (Charlton Athletic)
    Very much a constant selection in the Charlton side since making his debut 3 seasons ago, he has already amassed more than a 100 appearances for them. Though primarily a left back, he can also fill in centrally in defence if necessary. Most of his experience has been gained at Championship level, but relegation at the end of last season sees the club now operating in League 1. Morgans name has certainly been linked with some transfer speculation in the past and so it would not be surprising for him to be performing at the least in Championship football even if Charlton do not manage promotion. This would certainly increase his chances of senior international football involvement, having been briefly associated with the Wales senior squad last season.

    Kieron Freeman (Sheffield United)
    Although Kieron has tenures at quite a few clubs in his career statistics, suggesting a sort of nomadic experience, he has generally had regular first team appearances wherever he has been. After being a youth at Forest, he eventually moved on to Derby and then on to Bramall Lane after an initial loan period there. It must be added that quite a few of his loan periods have somewhat coincided with parent club management changes and the upheaval that results from such occasions. It is good that he seems to have tied down a regular place in the side at United this season, giving him a chance to build on quite the amount of experience he has already gathered.

    Posted: Monday 14th November 2016
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