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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 16 Oct 20 : 07:58 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Chem Campbell (Wolverhampton Wanderers), born 2002, Midfielder
    Starting his time as a scholar at the beginning of last season, Chem made his first team debut for Wolves within a few weeks of that time, when he was in the starting lineup for a 4th round EFL Cup match in late October. Having played frequently for the U-18 team when still on associated schoolboy terms with the club, he was only used in that team for a brief period before moving to regularly playing for the U-23 team as last season progressed until the spring suspension caused by the virus. The Wolves management team obviously believe that the standard of his abilities is good enough to warrant an appearance at first team level and if he can continue to enhance those qualities, further opportunities will possibly be presented over the coming months. It needs to be remembered that Chem is still very young, his 18th birthday does not arrive until the penultimate day of this year. It will therefore probably be done in a cautious manner as he gains experience in dealing with the increased skill level of opponents as well as the physical demands of first team football. The manager has shown that he is not averse in his willingness to insert young players in the first team. Undoubtedly, Chem is a player to keep an eye on, but it must also be remembered that first team football, particularly at Premier League level is the domain of those who possess the highest quality and exhibit it on a regular basis. With a bit of luck as well as dedication and determination, Chem can progress his skills in a manner that sees him become part of that group.

    Kieron Evans (Cardiff City), born 2001, Midfielder
    In his last season as an associated schoolboy with Cardiff, Kieron appeared in a little over half of the club's U-18 team games after having made a few appearances toward the end of the previous one. When he moved on to be a scholar, he was in the team for most of the games over that two year period and so  it was not surprising that he was amongst those offered a professional contract upon the completion of that tenure. Though regarded as a midfielder, he has plenty of attacking instincts as demonstrated by the fact that he scored almost a couple dozen goals for the team. This season he has moved on to be part of the U-23 squad but is also one of those under strong consideration by the manager for a possible opportunity to perform for the first team in the near future. He was included in the squad that participated in first team pre-season preparations and did have a place on the bench for the team that played in the EFL Cup 1st round tie. I'm sure that Kieron is doing his utmost to be again included in a matchday squad for the first team as soon as possible and of course make his first team debut as well. It is not only at club level that Kieron has made a favourable impression as he has also caught the eye for national selection, making his debut for the Wales U-19 team that played in the friendly match against England. His aim now will be to remain in the squad for the Elite round competitive matches next month.

    Rhys Hughes (Everton), born 2001, Midfielder
    After being associated with Everton for some years as a schoolboy, Rhys started his time as a scholar with the club in the summer of 2018. He played in most of the games the U-18 team contested during his two seasons of eligibility and last season captained the side on many occasions. The management team were so impressed with his development that they signed him on a professional contract just after the halfway point of last season, not needing any further time in their decision process of whether they should retain his services. This season presents him with a new challenge as he adapts to the tougher opponents that perform in U-23 competition. Rhys will want to show his coaches that the quality of his ability is such that he can not only competently produce the necessary skills to be successful in development football but  can continue improving in a manner that makes him a potential candidate for the first team. A path forward gaining experience of first team football through a loan assignment will most likely what the Everton management team decide is the most fruitful way for all concerned. In the meantime, Rhys will continue to have periods away from the club when the selectors beckon him to represent Wales. He has done so as a schoolboy, then U-17 and last season played in the qualification games that garnered success for the national U-19 team. Having played in the friendly arranged against England this week, his aim now will be amongst those chosen for the Elite round games that are scheduled for November.

    Tivonge Rushesha (Swansea City), born 2002, Defender

    After being associated with the Swansea academy for four years as a schoolboy, Tivonge moved on to become a scholar at the club in 2018. His impressive displays for the U-18 team in his first season in that capacity, saw him given some amount of exposure to U-23 football as it drew to a close. In his next, which was last season, he made only one appearance for the U-18 team as management decided he was more than ready for U-23 competition, playing in the majority of games played by the team. In the early season he was on the bench for the first team's two EFL Cup games, making his debut when playing the last quarter of the second of those games. When the season resumed after the enforced break due to covid-19, he appeared on the bench for some of the league games played by the team as they completed the season. He has not as yet made his league debut, but we can suspect that it may well come at some point this season, he was on the bench for the EFL Cup tie but not up to now in league games. After playing for the Wales U-17 team in the 2018/19 season, Tivonge was selected for the U-19's last season. Though in the original squad selected for the preliminary round of the age group competition, he had to withdraw before the games were played because of an injury. It does look as though he will be selected for the Elite round squad after being in the starting line-up for this week's team that played England. Tivonge is also eligible to represent Zimbabwe and seemingly they made a strong attempt to recruit him at the start of this season. He is obviously continuing in his willingness to be available for Wales at present, whether in future he may decide to declare an allegiance to his birth country, we shall have to wait and see.

    page posted: Fri, 16 Oct 20 : 07:58 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 16th October 2020
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