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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.
    With the league season at an end, barring some important play-off finals, I will present this last blog before taking a break for a few weeks with the intention of resuming prior to the start of next season. In doing so I will offer my opinion in review of the last nine months or so as regards the Wales international football team with obviously the main emphasis on what we categorize as young guns.

    I believe a majority of the fans will agree with my assessment of reasonable success in terms of what has been achieved by the Wales international senior team. A large drop in the average age of the team over the last 18 months or so, has produced a relatively inexperienced side, this however being offset by the quality of the players introduced. These young men are sufficiently talented to have adapted quickly to the demands of international football, their presence enhancing team performances. Even so, it must be noted what has been achieved this season is a mixed bag of results. Some good performances have been interspersed with mediocrity and one big disappointment. What may be the greatest value is if the group can use the situations from the past to find a means of creating improvements on what has left them dissatisfied. Anticipation of a very good Wales team in the future is not an unreasonable expectation. With qualification for the next version of the Euro’s now under way, the question of whether the potential that exists at present, can be converted into successful achievements is the criteria for judgement. The two games soon to be played, as we complete the international calendar for this season, will largely determine the ease or difficulty in achieving attendance in the finals a year from now. With that in mind, I will comment further on Euro 2020 prior to the start of next season, rather than at best be speculative with whatever I would offer at this time.

    Moving on to the main emphasis of my dialogue in this effort at providing some pleasing reading material, the focus moves to the young guns. In those terms, I will say that it has been a very good period to have been commenting on their progress. The promise that was evident as we started the season has continued to blossom in many cases and as was inferred in the above paragraph, the national team has been able to gain some benefit through its occurrence. What has impressed me is that it is a combination of both quality and quantity. This has allowed the unavailability of some of them at times to become an opportunity for others who were worthy of consideration. In this way, the overall strength in depth of the squad has been considerably improved. What it has produced at present, is an ability for Wales to field a good quality team which is a blend of experienced high-quality players supplemented by talented youngsters. In terms of looking ahead, this provides an ideal scenario. What I, and I am sure everyone else is hoping that will happen, is for the overall quality of the team to keep improving over time. For this outcome to prevail, the development of enough of these young players must continue until they become established performers at the uppermost levels of the game. Not only does such a need include those who have already gained inclusion in senior squads but also some even younger players still negotiating their way in club development programmes. As best as can be ascertained, quite a few such candidates are progressing in a manner that suggests they will be capable senior internationals in the future. It does seem that the system that has been important in delivering those that are shining examples of the present is able to do so on a continuing basis. This guides one into projecting an optimistic view of the future.

    I will leave it at that for now hoping that as next season proceeds, I will be able to generate even more optimism than what I have at this moment.

    As closing comments, I want firstly to thank Neil for allowing me the opportunity to make a small contribution to his excellent website. Next is a hope that those of you who have been readers of my articles during the season have had some amount of enjoyment doing so. It is something that I do have pleasure constructing and do apologize if at times they do not live up to expectations. Congratulations must be extended to all the players for their dedication and determination in continuing to work hard on improvement of the natural ability they possess. It is what has propelled them to their present career status and hopefully they have the resolve to reach greater success in the future. Without their ambition to become as good as they possibly can, there really wouldn’t be anything to write about. Finally, I wish all of you that will soon be on your travels to follow the senior team a safe journey. Hopefully, it will be a very enjoyable time. All the very best to everyone, I look forward to providing some words for you to read next season.

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    Posted: Wednesday 22nd May 2019
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