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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 9 Oct 20 : 07:52 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Joe Adams (Brentford), born 2001, Forward
    Joe is in his second season at Brentford, having been signed from Bury as the administrators for the club tried to raise funds a few weeks before what eventually became their unfortunate demise. It was smart business by Brentford, as they acquired a player with a strong potential to become another success story in their development programme. Joining the Bee's to become a member of their development squad, Joe played regularly for the Brentford B team last season and by all accounts progressed quite well. The team plays in arranged friendly matches as opposed to having games in a structured league, a system that seems to be a successful formula for them judging by how well the first team have performed in recent seasons. Joe gained notice as a first year scholar at Bury, strong performances contributing positively as the U-18 team gained some notable FA Youth Cup victories, a feat they even surpassed the following season. Over that time Joe was included in the Bury first team squad a number of times and amassed a half dozen appearances. He will want to replicate that accomplishment by creating a good enough impression to warrant first team consideration at his new club.

    Sam Bowen (Cardiff City), born 2001, Midfielder
    Sam has been associated with Cardiff City from a very young age which is hardly surprising as he follows in the footsteps of his father Jason who was a first team player at the club as well, a feat Sam appears to be getting ever closer to doing so. His closest opportunities so far have been a couple of appearances on the bench in FA Cup games last season. He is certainly regarded as being in the extended first team squad this season. The manager has stated that he is a firm believer in the philosophy that the club must develop some of its first team members through a development programme and that the quality of talent available can be nurtured to provide that possible outcome. Sam is one of those he has in mind that can fulfill that promise. He has certainly met all the challenges posed to him up to this point, considered an accomplished player at U-23 level having captained that team on numerous occasions. In his international career, he has represented Wales at schoolboy, U-17 and U-19 levels and will get the chance to progress that further to U-21 level as part of the squad that will play against Belgium. Undoubtedly it would be thrilling for his family if he can further emulate his father by eventually collecting senior caps.

    Lewis Collins (Newport County), born 2001, Midfielder
    As did his brother Aaron a few years before him, Lewis had a successful time as a scholar with Newport and was signed as a fulltime professional by the club in the summer of 2019. He made his first team debut when playing for the team in an EFL Trophy match a few months after he had joined as a first year scholar and then making more appearances in similar circumstances the following season. As a second year scholar he also had a few appearances on the bench in league and FA Cup matches but did not get onto the field in any of the games. Last season, his club appearance tally increased significantly with involvement in league games and all the cup competitions, helping the team progress to the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy. He has started this season in much the same way and his aim going forward will be to use the experience he is gaining as a means of developing his ability to secure increasing minutes on the field in games. The Newport fans are I am sure delighted that the club can produce first team candidates from the development system that is in place and particularly so when it is a local boy who is fighting for their cause.

    Sam Pearson (Bristol City ¿ on loan at Weymouth), born 2001, Forward
    Starting out as a scholar with the club in the 2018/19 season, Sam was named on the bench for the Bristol City first team in an FA Cup tie played in the January of his initial season in fulltime football. It was a reward for the ability he was exhibiting in development football along with encouragement and enticement for him continue his rapid progress and a taste of what was to come if he maintained the work ethic to improve. Although that is his only involvement in first team situations except for training and pre-season preparations, it does seem inevitable that he will soon grace the field wearing a Robin's first team attire. The club are certainly fast tracking him in such a direction, as after playing on a more frequent basis for the U-23's than the U-18's in his first season as a scholar, last season he was loaned out to Bath City and this season it is a step higher in the pyramid with Weymouth. They obviously believe he is ready for first team football challenges, but not quite at Championship level at this time. Able to operate effectively anywhere along the front line, along with his skillful play, goal scoring is one of his key attributes. His scoring record as he is confronted with increasingly stronger opposition will likely dictate how soon he may be tested at Championship level.

    Daniel Williams (Swansea City), born 2001, Midfielder
    Daniel is a player that I consider to be progressing somewhat under the radar in terms of those who attempt to maintain their knowledge of young players. It is obviously not the case for those who watch and judge him on a regular basis as he continues on a bright path forward in the quest to forge a career in football. Moving through from schoolboy association to the scholar phase of his career with Swansea, he did well at that time , particularly so in his second year and that made it an easy decision for the Swansea management team to secure his services with a professional contract in 2019. Last season, his involvement with the U-23 side was interrupted for a long period as he spent the time recovering from injury. Added to this was that his return to full fitness occurred shortly before football was forced into suspension in the early spring. Daniel was I am sure grateful that even though his period of assessment was considerably shortened, there was little hesitation in the process of renewing his contract for this season and will be determined to prove it was a correct decision. His involvement with Wales teams over the years has been sporadic, in large part because of an abundance of worthy candidates available for selection in his age group. One can say that he gets an opportunity to make up for those omissions with his selection for the U-21's and will then move on to be involved with the U-19's a few days later.

    I will add this footnote although I suspect that all of you will already know what I am about to mention. All the players this week are in the U-21 squad at present and then will move on from there to join the U-19 group next week. They are all eligible for selection from what is a high quality group available to represent the nation in November Elite round competition. It will be a very tough task to qualify for the finals, but there does seem to be some possibility and it will be a proud moment for Wales fans if it is achieved.

    page posted: Fri, 9 Oct 20 : 07:52 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 9th October 2020
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