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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

    Ryan Barrett (Newcastle United)
    A Wales schoolboy international, playing in the 2016 Victory Shield competition, Ryan signed on as a scholar on Tyneside in the summer. Having just reached his 16th birthday at that time, it makes him considerably younger than a large part of the U-18 squad at the club and in consequence his exposure to that team has only been a few times on the bench up to this point. Further international honours occurred this season as he represented Wales in their U-17 friendly and competitive matches.

    Ryan Bevan and Cameron Evans (Swansea City)
    Two young Swans who have played for the Wales U-17 team this season. Cameron is a first year scholar at the club and has been on the bench a few times for the U-18 team, making one appearance as a substitute. Ryan must still be a schoolboy, his birthday must be in the latter part of year, preventing him from signing on a full time basis. He probably plays regularly for the U-16 side, but I have no means of confirming it. With the club having a strong back line consisting of second year scholars, it is not surprising that these two young men have made so little contribution to the U-18 team.

    Morgan Boyes, Daniel Griffiths and Neco Williams (Liverpool)
    All three were part of the scholar intake for the club at the start of this season but have hardly featured for the U-18 team during the matches played over the last three and a half months. Neco, when still on schoolboy forms, played a dozen games for the team during the second half of last season and I believe his absence this term is a result of an injury. Dan has been on the bench a few times and has made an appearance as substitute a couple of times. He played for the Wales U-17 team in a friendly against Scotland, but was unavailable for the qualifying matches after being named in the original squad. Morgan may possibly have been out of action due to injury as well. He was part of the U-18 team in the last few games before the festive break.                                                                                                                                  

    Bailey Owen and Callum Watts (Southampton)
    After an association with Swansea, Bailey joined the Saints youth system upon leaving school in the summer. On the bench in the early season U-18 games, making one substitute appearance, he has not featured in any of their games since that time. Whether it is due to an injury situation is unknown. A schoolboy international in 2016, Callum has also represented Wales when he played in the nation's U-17 games this season. One game on the bench has been his only involvement with the club's U-18 team thus far as he is still in a schoolboy status.

    Callum and Sam Pearson (Bristol City)
    Sam was named in the Wales U-17 squad selected for their European qualifying games but had to withdraw before the tournament. Callum played in the tournament after he was named as a replacement for another player withdrawal. Though still schoolboys, both have had time in the City U-18 team this season. Both have made one starting appearance, Sam has also made numerous additional substitute ones as well. I'm afraid that I cannot say what relationship exists between these two young men, twins, is probably the best guess, but I have not been able find information to ascertain if this may be so, maybe someone can help enlighten us on what the facts are.

    Daniel Hawkins (Hull City)
    Another former Swansea schoolboy who moved on and joined Hull in the summer. He seems to have settled well in his new surroundings, becoming a regular member of their U-18 side. Daniel was invited to participate in training camps conducted for schoolboy internationals, but I believe that he has not yet won any caps for his country. A continuation the good form he seems to be showing as a youth team player may possibly bring a change to this situation over time.

    A somewhat brief version of the blog this time. With U-23 and U-18 match schedules given a break during the holiday period, many of the young guns have not had game time for a while. This week, it has been the boys that fall in the category of U-17 international eligibility that have been referenced. Information about them is rather sparse as can be seen by what I have been able to mention about them. Hopefully as we move into the second half of the season, there will be more positive comments that can be made about them as well as other Welsh qualified youngsters.

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    Posted: Monday 8th January 2018
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