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    Young Guns blog (by John Jones) -  Posted Mon 16 Sep 19

    Morgan Boyes (Liverpool)
    Morgan is now a member of the Liverpool U-23 squad after signing a full-time professional contract upon completion of his two years as a scholar with the club. A regular member of that team this season as well as the U-21 team that competes in the Football League Trophy competition, he continues amassing appearances for the club teams following on from doing so for two years as a youth player with the U-18 team. Starting from the time when he was affiliated with Liverpool as a schoolboy, he has also been constantly selected for Wales squads as he has progressed through his various age group eligibility periods. At present, as he was last season, he is a member of the national U-19 team, captaining the side during their recent friendly tournament games. At club level, he and his coaches are diligently working on honing his game with the emphasis on improvements that can help him successfully surmount the stiffer challenges that lie ahead. Playing for Liverpools first team is undoubtedly both his aim and ambition and there is presently no reason to refute that one day he may accomplish that feat. It is an extremely high standard of achievement that must be attained in order for first team involvement to be considered at Liverpool, one thats often supplemented by the importation of talent from other clubs. A policy of development from within the ranks of those they have nurtured from a young age is by no means neglected, this being their preferred route when viable. Often a loan arrangement that allows a player to gain first team experience in a situation not quite as demanding, is a pathway chosen. In the seasons ahead, Morgan may well be evaluated in that manner before the possibility of wearing that coveted shirt synonymous with adulation from the red half of Merseyside supporters occurs. Wales teams will certainly benefit if such a dream becomes reality.

    Liam Cullen (Swansea City)
    Appearances on the bench for Swanseas 2 Carabao Cup matches will have certainly given Liam the incentive to push as hard as possible to finally make his first team debut for the club. Now at the start of his second season as a member of the Swans U-23 squad, Liam has continually improved his game to meet the challenges presented to him over the years, his aim now will be to convince the coaching staff at the club that he warrants an opportunity to show that he can cope with this next step in his career development. He obviously has created a good enough impression for those selections to have occurred and yet it may well need him to exhibit an ability to be patiently determined whilst waiting for his first team debut. With the team riding high in the Championship league table at present, continuation in this mode, likely produces a scenario where few changes to the matchday squads will occur. There is also plenty of competition should the need for considering alternative selections arise. It could possibly take some while longer for Liam to experience the thrill of competitive first team action. It is however refreshing to witness that the Swansea management team are willing to promote young players into the team and so hopefully his chance will come. Liam has a reasonably impressive goal scoring record in all the levels of football he has played but will need to continue in that same manner in order to achieve regular first team selections.

    Isaak Davies (Cardiff City)
    Second year scholar Isaak completes his eligibility for the Cardiff U-18 team at the end of this season after making appearances in it for four consecutive seasons. During the first two seasons of doing so, he was affiliated with the club on associate schoolboy terms, his goal scoring conversion record of roughly one in every two U-18 matches ensuring that he had plenty of experience at that level before joining the club on a fulltime basis. Isaak scored a goal in each of the matches played by the Wales U-19 team when they drew the two games in a friendly tournament during the recent international break. At club level, although injuries on occasion made him unavailable, he was still able to make a significant contribution to the success of last seasons Cardiff U-18 team, ending it as table toppers in their league. With almost all of the regular members of that team now having moved on to play either U-23 football or first team football through loan arrangements, Isaaks experience will be vital in helping this seasons side negotiate what will be a step up in competitive level for many members of it. It is possible that at some point in the season, Isaak will play for the U-23 team as coaches assess the progression of his career.

    Rhys Hughes (Everton)
    Rhys was a regular member of the Everton U-18 team as a first-year scholar last season and so it was of little surprise to see him nominated as the captain of the team this season. He will now want to continue impressing the Toffees management team, hoping that it ensures he remains on the Goodison Park staff in his bid to eventually secure a first team football future at the highest level possible. Having previously been involved with Wales teams as a schoolboy and then later at U-17 level, Rhys was this season selected to be part of the Wales U-19 squad, helping the team produce satisfying performances in their recent tournament games. Evertons general policy of subjecting second year scholars to some amount of experience of U-23 football whenever warranted and practical will most likely apply in Rhys general assessment at some point during the season. Another avenue that may be used to determine the best pathway forward, is involvement with the club U-21 team competing against lower league first team squad members in the Football League Trophy competition. Whatever may be the case, it will hopefully be one that Rhys will find relatively east to adapt to, giving us Wales fans another name to follow as a prospective candidate for national U-21 and maybe senior squad recognition in the coming years.

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    Posted: Monday 16th September 2019
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