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    Young Guns blog (by John Jones) -  Sun 1 Sep 19.

    Ben Cabango (Swansea City)
    Congratulations to Ben, who recently made his first team debut for Swansea when he was in the starting line-up for their League Cup tie, helping the team to a successful outcome. This time last year, he was at the start of his half season of assistance to TNS, having been loaned out to them for that period. He gained quite an amount of praise during his time with the Welsh Premier club and obviously prospered through gaining some good experience playing first team football for them. He returned to Swansea for the second half of the season, playing regularly for the U-23 team, putting the lessons gained in the Welsh Premier to good use as he played a prominent role in their matches for the remainder of the season. This week, Swansea played in the next round of the League Cup and once again Ben was a member of the victorious side, getting another opportunity to gain first team experience. Next week he will be gathering with the rest of the national U-21 squad members, hoping to be selected to play in the Wales team as they start their qualification campaign. This would add the next step in his progression, having already represented his country in the younger age group UEFA competitions.

    Cameron Coxe (Cardiff City)
    Adding to his previous solitary first team appearance a couple of years ago, Cameron was a member of the Cardiff City team that played in the League Cup tie a few days ago . Circumstance has in some part restricted his opportunity to represent his club at first team level with the Cardiff City team relying on experienced players as they firstly were successful in gaining promotion from the Championship two seasons ago, then followed by last season's Premier League campaign, a situation where management at clubs who are members of that elite league, find it very difficult to resort to the use of young players in their team. There can be little doubt that the Cardiff coaching staff do have quite a high regard for the talent Cameron possesses and believe that he is a prospective regular first team player in the future. Hopefully as the season progresses there will be further opportunities for him, ones that he can not only gain valuable experience but also that he can perform well enough in to instill even greater confidence about his ability. Cameron has represented Wales as a member of the U-21 team for the last couple of seasons, amassing an appearance total that now reaches an impressive double figure total. He will almost certainly be in the starting line-up for that team again next week as they play the first of their qualification matches.

    Dylan Levitt (Manchester United)
    Dylan is one of numerous young players graduating from the scholar programme at United that management at the club have reasonably high hopes can eventually be possible first team football candidates at Old Trafford. He is now a member of the U-23 squad as he continues to develop his career toward that goal of appearing at the Theatre of Dreams as a member of United's first team. Originally selected for the upcoming Wales U-21 team games as a member of that squad, he has now been promoted into the senior national squad. It was not an overly surprising outcome as he attended senior squad training camps at the end of last season and then selected as a member of the senior squad for the June matches and in the matchday squad for one of those games. It indicates the opinion Ryan Giggs holds as regards his ability and it could possibly result in him making an appearance for the team in the friendly match next week. As far as his club career is concerned, it is difficult to predict the development that might occur during the season. Undoubtedly, he is going to be an important member of the U-23 team and will get some taste of the demands of first team football now that the club has entered their U-21 team into the Football League Trophy cup competition. Whether there will be any club first team opportunities during the season is difficult to determine, most likely to be in cup competitions if it does happen. During his youth career, there have been those witnessing his performances who have voiced their opinions with favourable comparisons as to how Paul Scholes did so during a similar period in his career, quite an accolade. If his game does continue to develop in similar fashion to how the Ginger Prince graced many a pitch as well as his Old Trafford home ground then Wales will have a player in their team that many an opposing national manager will be very fearful of being the influential player capable of ruining their plans in securing a victory. We fans certainly hope such scenarios will become fact.

    Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers)
    Jack is a player who any of us that has an interest in the Wales under-age national sides will have been acutely aware of for a number of years. He has played a significant role in those teams at schoolboy, U-17 and U-19 levels and will now get the opportunity to do so for the U-21's with his selection in the squad for the upcoming matches. Initially affiliated with TNS as a young schoolboy, he then joined Blackburn Rovers where he eventually became a scholar and has now graduated into their U-23 squad. Although he only completed his youth tenure at the club last season, making this season his first as an official member of the U-23 squad, he will be no stranger to play at that level. He has already played in the U-23 team games many times over the previous two seasons, a sign that his ability is at the high end of his peer group. It may have been expected by some that Jack may have been given an exposure to first team football demands during the recent pre-season preparations but that does not seem to have been the case. His quality is such that consideration for involvement at that level would not seem to be that far in the future, he is certainly gaining accolades for performances for the U-23 team. It is certainly a big step from that type of competitiveness into the sort that is common in Championship football, but one that Jack seems very capable of making.
    In order to attempt to be timely in providing this for Neil to publish, I will end my rhetoric at this point this week.

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    Posted: Monday 2nd September 2019
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