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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 18 Dec 20  08:07 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), born 2002, Midfielder
    Celebrating more than a decade of involvement with Cardiff, Rubin impressed over his time in the academy and then as a scholar, to be deserving of a fulltime professional contract with the club. Signing on those terms in the summer, he is this season a member of the U-23 squad and has been playing regularly for the team in the games they have contested to this point. A midfield player with good attacking and creative skills he will want to build on what he has achieved, shining in developmental level competition will increase his chances of getting consideration for first team football involvement. Doing so would provide him the opportunity to continue his association with Wales teams in the years ahead. He has already won caps for representing the nation when he was a schoolboy and was also a member of the U-17 squad that participated in the UEFA competition for that age grade during the 2018/19 season. He is presently eligible for the U-19's but the covid situation has of course prevented any matches being played over the last nine months, with tentative scheduling being anticipated for the spring of 2021.

    Aaron Evans-Harriot (Coventry City), born 2002, Forward
    Impressive displays playing for the academy teams at Cheltenham and then as he moved on to be a scholar at the start of the 2019/20 season, caught the attention of the scouts who watched him. Coventry were amongst a number of clubs with an interest in acquiring his skills to potentially improve their teams and initially approached Cheltenham when he was still an academy player. However, it was not until at the end of January 2020 transfer window when agreement was reached between the clubs and Aaron's move to the Sky Blues was concluded. He was immediately assigned to be a member of Coventry's U-23 squad but only had a short time to settle before the virus brought an end to developmental level football in the early spring. This season, he has played quite a few times for the U-23 team as well as similarly so for the U-18 team for which he remains eligible for until the summer of 2021. Aaron's only involvement with Wales teams was when capped at U-15 level, if he can continue to play regular U-23 football and push toward first team consideration, further national honours are very likely to occur.

    MacCauley Power (Hull City), born 2002, Midfielder
    Hull have focused some of their recruiting attention in southwest England and southern Wales in recent seasons and their endeavours have been rewarded with some successful signings. The good strides in their youth system that MacCauley is making, suggests the possibility he may be another success story. Last season, his first year as a scholar, he made appearances in most of the U-18 team games, an almost equal mix of starting and off the bench assignments. This season, he has been a regular starter in the side, a sign that he has firmly established himself as a very capable player at that level of football. What he will be hoping, is that he has impressed the coaching staff well enough to convince them that he can be a productive player at U-23 level football. If he has done so, then the chances of him receiving an offer of a new contract to remain at the club beyond this season will be greatly improved. It may well be that as the season progresses, he might be given the opportunity to experience the competitiveness of that next level, one that would be used as a further assessment of his abilities.

    Tom Sparrow (Stoke City), born 2002, Midfielder
    After being associated with Wolves as a youngster, Tom moved to spend the last part of his time as an academy player with Stoke before signing on as a scholar with them prior to the start of last season. He played a few times for the U-18 team whilst still a schoolboy and last season was regularly involved with the team. Now as a second year scholar, he played for the U-18's in the early season games but since that time has been making regular appearances for the club's U-23 team. It does seem to be a significantly positive progression of Tom's career as he will need to be adept at that level of football if the Stoke management team deem him to be worthy of receiving a fulltime professional contract, replacing the one which he now has as a scholar and comes to an end in a few months time. Tom has represented Wales as both a schoolboy and U-17 international. He is eligible at U-19 level this season and if age grade international football is considered a viable option in a safe manner in the spring of 2021, then he will certainly be one with a strong possibility of selection.

    Josh Thomas (Swansea City), born 2002, Forward
    The Swansea fans who pay attention to young players in their academy programme have been keenly anticipating Josh's arrival to an age when he could enter the ranks of those employed in fulltime football. His prolific goal scoring record for the teams he performed with during his schoolboy years had them hoping he could maintain the same high standards when challenged with facing increasing levels of competition. Now in his second season as a scholar with the Swans, he has largely met with expectations to this point. The coaching staff have displayed their confidence in his ability by not only utilizing him for the U-18 team but also quite often for the U-23's both last season and this one. The challenge that awaits is undoubtedly the biggest one for a young footballer. The step up from developmental football to first team circumstances is the one that determines how well a career proceeds and the Swansea fans will be hoping he can do so for their club. Josh as not only an academy graduate but also a local lad, would delight them if he could help the team gain success. Unsurprisingly, with such a resume, Josh has had a prominent presence in Wales teams over recent seasons and in his progression through the age groups, was a member of last season's successful U-19 squad. He will remain eligible for that age group this season if any matches are played.

    I will end this week's version by letting you know that I will take a break for a couple of weeks with the anticipation that the next installment should be ready for Neil to post on the website on January 8th. I will therefore take this opportunity to express my greetings of the season to you all. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    page posted: Fri, 18 Dec 20 :08:07  refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 18th December 2020
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