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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 11 Dec 20 :07:35 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Harry Jones (Swansea City), born 2003, Midfielder
    Harry signed as a scholar with Swansea prior to the start of this season after previously being at Arsenal for some years as an associated schoolboy. During his time at Arsenal, he represented Wales as a schoolboy international and was a member of the 2018/19 Victory Shield squad. Last season he played for the U-17's, a member of the squad that successfully qualified for the Elite round of the UEFA tournament, eventually cancelled because of the events of 2020. Undoubtedly a good addition to the Swans U-18 squad, the coaches have also already exposed Harry to U-23 competition football and so have plenty of confidence in his ability. It has been a disjointed season for the Swansea U-18 team with the postponement of around half of their games making continuity difficult to achieve, hopefully the situation will improve going forward. Line-ups for the matches played have also been sparse and so I cannot comment on how many games Harry has played. It has been better but not complete for the U-23 team and so I am not sure whether Harry has been involved with that team more than the one time I noticed that he did.

    Harry Leeson (Bristol City), born 2003, Midfielder
    First year scholar Harry has had a busy time in the first weeks of the season, as he has been playing for both the Bristol City U-18 and U-23 teams during that time. The club has had an ongoing policy for the last few seasons of exposing their scholars to the demands of U-23 football, but to see Harry do so in the early part of the season seems to suggest that the coaching staff hold him in high regard. Details of team line-ups are incomplete in the sites that I locate and so I am unable to specify whether Harry had played for the U-18 team prior to this season. Judging from the information available to me, he is certainly an excellent addition to the list of Welsh qualified players and will certainly be a strong challenger for consideration when squad selection decisions are made for the national teams he will eligible to represent.

    Siyabonga Ligendza (Cardiff City), born 2003, Forward

    Second year scholar Siyabonga has been playing regularly for the Cardiff U-18 team this season and has been doing well as he is one of the leading goal scorers for them. It is a continuation of what he has been doing for a few years at Cardiff as he was also a leading scorer for the U-16 team during one season that he played at that level. He did play for the U-18 team at the time he was an associated schoolboy with the club and accumulated double digit appearance numbers in the season prior to becoming a scholar. Last season, his first as a scholar, he played in the majority of the U-18 team games but was not as prolific a scorer at that time. He did also play in a few games for the U-23 team. In his time as a schoolboy, Siyabonga represented Wales and was a member of the 2018/19 Victory Shield squad.

    Charlie Savage (Manchester United), born 2003, Midfielder
    Following in the footsteps of his father, Charlie progressed through the United academy and is this season, a second year scholar at the club. As is the case for many first year scholars at Old Trafford, Charlie only made a few appearances for the U-18 team last season, but this season he has played in all but one of their games helping shape what has been a successful season to this point. Dad Robbie was of course a successful graduate of the fabled "Class of '92" and although following a different pathway, developed his game to become a very productive player which fashioned an excellent career. As I have mentioned numerous times over the years, trying to become a successful professional footballer is an extremely difficult task, trying to emulate a father in any profession is unfortunately an added burden on the expectations, but one that Charlie has to accept and overcome, and he is meeting the challenge well so far. What we can reasonably assume is that the dedication and determination as well as ability required to have a possibility of achieving his ambition will have been passed down in the genes from the abundance of it his father possesses, and that will undoubtedly serve him well. Charlie was a member of last season's Wales U-17 squad and has become another in the family who owns national caps. He helped the team qualify for participation, in the later cancelled elite qualification tournament.

    Lewys Twamley (Newport County), born 2003, Midfielder
    In his second year as a scholar at Rodney Parade, Lewys made his first team debut in the early part of this season when introduced off the bench in an EFL Trophy match. He then started and played the whole of the next two matches the club played in the same competition, indicating the high confidence the Exiles coaching staff have in his ability. The County team have started the season very well in League 2 and are currently considered a strong favourite for promotion when it comes to an end. Obviously, the strength of the team and the squad must be very good to achieve such an assessment, but Lewys will be hoping that an opportunity may arise between now and the end of the season to gain some experience in league competition. As his time as a scholar comes to an end, it may prove helpful if he does so, a decision will need to be made whether to retain his services beyond this season with the offer of a professional contract the option that will be required. In the meantime, he will continue playing for the development teams. An important match for the U-18's will be played next week as they contest a second round FA Youth Cup tie. Lewys was the goal scorer that provided the winning margin in the first round win and will undoubtedly be determined to contribute to a successful result, with the prospect of a third round match against Tottenham Hotspurs an appealing challenge of skills for the winners. Last season, Lewys played for the U-18 team that negotiated their way to a third round tie against Blackburn Rovers, succumbing to a narrow defeat by a side that eventually was a semi finalist in the competition

    page posted: Fri, 11 Dec 20 :07:35  refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 11th December 2020
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