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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

    Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City)
    Having been recruited to join the Cardiff City academy as an 8 year old, Rubin has continually developed his football skills through the guidance of his coaches and is now establishing himself in U-18 level competition. Now a first year scholar at the club, he is very much an important member of the squad that has been dominant in the U-18 League 2 division. They currently sit atop the southern section and Rubin has contributed his talent in more than half of the games which they have competed. Along with this, Rubin has also played for the Wales U-17 team during the UEFA qualification tournament that took place in the autumn of 2018. With quite a good proportion of the U-18 squad comprising of second year scholars who will complete their eligibility at that level as this season ends, it will be expected that Rubin will become an increasingly influential member of those who will carry the banner for the U-18ís as they continue on from that time.

    Tom Davies (Shrewsbury Town)
    Tom is another who was recruited as an 8 year old, joining the Shrewsbury academy from nearby mid Wales. Progressing through the various age groups, Tom was performing well enough when still in a schoolboy status to be utilized as a member of the U-18 team on some occasions last season. Now that he has joined the club on a full time basis as a scholar, he has been a regular member of the team this season. His next steps are of course to continue refining his skills and will have plenty of encouraging reasons to do so. He will have, I am sure noticed that some of the members of the youth team, a little older than he is, have been given a little taste of first team football at the club through participation in Checkatrade Trophy matches. Another avenue used by the Shrews to gain experience for their young players is by loaning out to local non-league clubs for a month or so and in that way provide a situation where first team football is played.

    Josh Hosie (Everton)
    An unfortunate situation of receiving a second booking of the match resulting in a dismissal was experienced by Josh recently as he made his first start of the season for the Toffees U-18 team. He joined the club as a scholar at the start of the season, having been affiliated with the club for quite some time in his days of playing schoolboy football. During that time, Josh was an important member of the Wales schoolboy team, then moving on to play U-17 international football after that. Although Josh has not had much involvement with the Everton U-18 team so far this season, it would be expected that it could increase as the season draws to a close when some amount of planning for the next one takes place. The U-18 team has had a very successful time of it so far, league leaders as well as progressing to the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup where they await their next match in that competition quite soon. The U-18 team has generally been mainly made up of second year scholars with the addition of some very talented first year ones. Enabling this success has been the availability of these players on a regular basis for the coaching staff, removing the necessity for considering much change to the line-up. It is likely that Josh will be involved on a much more frequent basis next season when he will be a more senior member of the squad.

    Edward Jones (Bury)
    Joining Bury before the start of this season to begin his time as a scholar at the club signaled the end of Edwardís association with Everton, with whom he had been affiliated as a schoolboy. During that period of his career, he was involved with the Wales schoolboy international team but did not quite manage to get selected for the Victory shield squad. An indication of how close he was to be chosen, can be extrapolated from the selection and then caps gained as part of the Wales U-17 squad the next season. His move to the Shakers has seen him play with some regularity for their U-18 team, during which time he has contributed to the teamís FA Youth Cup success. They have managed to win all their matches in the competition so far and as a consequence have reached the quarter finals, Liverpool being their next opponents in a game which will be played in a couple of weeks or so.

    Harvey Rew (Portsmouth)
    Harvey is amongst the youngsters which the coaching staff at the club are pleased with how they are progressing in their football education. He has been playing in some games for the clubís U-18 team this season even though he is not yet old enough to join the Fratton Park staff as a scholar. He gained his first and then further international caps this season, when representing Wales in their U-17 matches, having been previously involved in the national set up when called up for training camps held as preparatory sessions for schoolboy international matches. With the club hopeful that a good season for the first team can culminate with a promotion into the Championship, it would then possibly be reliant on some of their promising youngsters developing well enough to further strengthen the team, maybe producing hope of a return to their former glories as Premier League members.

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    Posted: Wednesday 20th February 2019
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