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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated:Sat, 29 Aug 20 :10:20 efresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    To read all last season blog posts scroll through posts on the young guns page

    With the season about to get underway, I will again attempt to provide weekly articles highlighting the achievements of the Wales young guns as it progresses. A preliminary assessment seems to indicate that there will be another long list of candidates available.

    Over recent seasons the number of young guns employed by clubs, either as scholars or professionals has continuously increased, an indication that development as schoolboys is receiving beneficial coaching. We can not only be encouraged by the positive trend in quantity but also that the average quality has also been on the rise. This has translated into quite a significant improvement in the strength in depth of the senior squad. I believe that most if not all Wales fans will feel reasonably satisfied about the results achieved by the senior team over the last year or so.

    There were of course some disappointments. Qualification for the finals of the Euro 2020 competition was undoubtedly the ultimate goal and though uncertainty was a theme throughout, a successful conclusion thrilled joyous fans. A combination of injury absences along with the team still being in transition, as young guns were deservedly selected, created difficult circumstances at times. It certainly led to a pressure situation in the last couple of games and it was pleasing to see the competent reaction of the players in dealing with it.

    Looking back at last season with respect to young guns performances, there were plenty of notable achievements to reflect upon. Numerous players made first team debuts and there were quite a few others who succeeded in getting first team involvement but did not get selected to make that next step. It does seem that most of them will soon do so. It is my opinion, that in view of these instances as well some others where youngsters are impressing in their development programmes, we can look toward the future in Welsh football with some amount of optimism. It is success for the senior team that is the biggest priority for us all, even those of us that have a strong interest in the progress of the young guns. A repeat of those euphoric times created in 2016 would have the nation in raptures once more.

    Whether those achievements can be matched or bettered is really an unanswerable question until it does occur. What we can say at present, is that an already competitive team has a potential for improvement and a possibility that it can remain in the same fashion for the foreseeable future.

    As I move on in the coming weeks to discuss these young players individually, my hope will be to present some enjoyable reading material with as much informative content as I can provide. At this point I will admit the limitations of the information I am able to collect and would welcome any addition to what I already know. The efforts of everyone who could add to my knowledge will be greatly appreciated. My format will be, as in the past, for players who are either scholars or professionals and still eligible for U-21 international selection, that is born in 1998 or later. It is my belief that they have all exhibited an exceptional amount of talent to have reached their present status and deserve praise for doing so.

    They are in pursuit of developing a career in football, in a competitive environment which can only accommodate for a portion of them to be able to succeed. As such, I try and emphasize some of the qualities that are necessary to overcome what are essentially unfavourable odds and apologize to readers who get frustrated if I mention dedication, determination and so on too frequently. They are however an essential element for anyone who wants success in whatever career they wish to follow.

    Even possessing such qualities is not the only requirement, as it must be accompanied by a continual refinement of skills as well as adaptation to physical and mental demands imposed when higher levels of football are encountered. It is an undoubted accomplishment when a professional contract is achieved and then the journey to retain it requires an ability to outcompete those already experienced in dealing with that pressure. We fans can rightly be delighted when young players reach a status of playing first team football, particularly so when it happens in the higher divisions of the league. Along with it is an anticipation for them to be able to display their talent at international level and help Wales teams gain success.

    With the season about to start, let us hope that it can proceed without interruption and by next summer the prospect of Wales fans cheering the team in the rearranged Euro's will be realized. Much will happen in the meantime. I will try and keep you entertained with material worth the investment of your time reading it as the months move along.

    page originally posted:Sat, 29 Aug 20 :10:20 refresh for updates

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru

    Posted: Saturday 29th August 2020
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