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    Young Guns update


    Young Guns by John Jones.

    Aaron Lewis and Lewis Thomas (Swansea City)
    Both are in their first full season of involvement with the Swansea U-23 team and have made numerous appearances at that level as the season has progressed. With the need to accommodate a large pool of players, occasionally extended when senior squad periphery members are used, the composition of the side frequently changes and so contains few players who are regular inclusions. In this regard, Aaron and Lewis have acquitted themselves well enough to get sufficient playing time to enhance their gathering of competitive experience. Aaron, who can operate on either flank of the defence, was another of the success stories of the good team displays by the Wales U-19 team during their qualification tournament earlier in the season. Lewis, with a birthdate in the year prior to Aarons, was involved with the team for the previous campaign. Their next call for duty with Wales will almost certainly be for the summer Toulon U-20 tournament then followed by next seasons U-21 qualification matches.

    Billy Sass-Davies (Crewe Alexandra)
    William or Billy as he is referenced and quite possibly a preference for him as well, is a first year scholar at the Alexandra Stadium and a regular member of Crewes youth team throughout the season. He has also been subjected to what the future may hold for him having already had some taste of U-23 football. Along with some others from the youth team, he was used to supplement the U-23 squad as the club faced an unusual circumstance of a very congested schedule at that time. It does provide some indication as to how the coaching staff at Crewe must regard his progress. Playing in a central defensive position against older, probably more physically developed opponents, certainly ones more experienced in full time football was without doubt a stern test that was felt he had the attributes to cope with. It is only relatively very early days, but Crewe does have a reputation of producing very good young players, promoting them to first team football in quick fashion if it is believed they have ability to compete at that level. We shall have to wait and see if Billy takes a path similar to what those celebrated predecessors accomplished.

    Jordan Williams, Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
    The 3 Ws are of course regular features of mine as I have been trying to provide some informative contributions to those of you interested in reading my offerings. With the young talent at Liverpool the subject of plenty of media attention, it is doubtful that I can produce much, if any, that has not already been iterated, but I will have my say anyway. At this time, it is Ben who I maybe want to acknowledge the most. After a short period where he was rested from matchday squad involvement, he was again involved in the game against Leicester City. He was introduced as a substitute for the last 10 minutes or so and I watched the contribution he made on the television. It was certainly not a token gesture to send him on as he helped try and probe a way through the Foxes defence with the same intensity as the other Liverpool players. Unfortunately for him it was to no avail as they defended with resolute doggedness and a determined resistance, in a similar way to what had been their forte last season, but few, if any, opponents had to overcome previously during this season. Admittedly it was below the expected par team display by the Reds in this particular game but in my judgement, in what I have seen from him in the cup games and this latest installment, he is ready to be able to contribute fully to a Liverpool team in whatever type of performance they can muster. Of course he is young and his presence will most likely only be needed on an occasional basis but he wont be overawed by whatever circumstance he is placed in. Moving on to Harry, there is no doubt that he also deserves a lot of credit for his progression during this season. His inclusion in the party that gathered for the warm weather training sessions shows that he is firmly in the plans of the management team to be utilized in first team scenarios if it is at all viable. The competition for first team playing time is already congested amongst the present incumbents and so there is certainly no opportunity for Harry to rest on his laurels. He will need to continue using all the determination and dedication he obviously possesses along with receiving the encouragement of family and friends to keep honing his skills to as high a standard as he can manage. With quotes attributed to some of the senior Liverpool players being impressed with his ability, definitely a boost to his confidence, the hard work that those characters have to exhibit in their training regimen in the quest to maintain their level at Premier League standard should also be a reference for him to apply his focus of attention upon. If he can continue his goal scoring exploits should he get the chance to step up to that next level, he would undoubtedly receive hero worship status from the Kop faithful. Jordan is in the unfortunate situation of being very much on the outside for any first team consideration.

    There is no doubt that he is well thought of as his appearance on the bench for the cup replay indicated, but such is the competition for any consideration that he will almost certainly be in amongst those excluded. He is very much a part of the U-23 team and is probably regarded as an experienced head that gives guidance to some of the younger players around him in that role. First team football is almost surely what will be the most benefit for his career at this point in time though and hopefully something positive will develop in that fashion over the next few months. Having been at Liverpool for a number of years by now, it will be a wrench to leave the club but probably be the best solution going forward. Of course we cannot accurately predict what will happen in the future, in football sometimes much less so than in other things and the best thing to say is to wish Jordan all the very best in the pursuit of good football career.
    Posted: Wednesday 8th March 2017
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