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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 14 Oct 22 : 07:55 :  refresh for updates

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

    Findlay Coleman (Newport County) born 2006, Defender.
    Voted sports person of the year at his Chepstow school as he completed his time there, Findlay then joined Newport as a first year scholar at the start of this season. Previously playing as a midfielder, the Exiles coaching staff converted him into a central defender when he joined their academy last season. He has adapted well in this position, as indicated by his selection for a preseason game in which most of the eleven were older development team players and the opposition was a men’s team. Findlay, I’m sure, will probably be mostly involved with the U-18 team this season, but may also be challenged to play against sterner opposition at times in order to accelerate his progress as much as possible.

    Charlie Crew (Leeds United) born 2006, Midfielder.
    A member of their academy for some years, Charlie made his first appearance for the Cardiff U-18 team when introduced off the bench two seasons ago. Last season, he played in well over half of the team’s games and made enough of an impression for Leeds to negotiate for him to join their club and start his time as a scholar with them this season. He has already played in games for their U-18 side and he will be trying to establish himself as a regular starter as soon as possible. Charlie has been involved with Wales teams throughout his time as a schoolboy but did miss out on playing at U-15 level because no games were played due to the pandemic. Last season he played in the Victory Shield games and this season he recently played for the U-17’s and was in fact captain of the side.

    Luey Giles (Cardiff City) born 2006, Defender.
    Local lad Luey joined the Cardiff academy teams as an eight year old and has progressed through the various age groups to become a scholar at the club at the start of this season. A left sided defensive player, he plays in the left back position and not only is strong defensively but also provides plenty of quality when supplementing the attacking moves of the team. He has played in all but one of the Cardiff U-18 team games this season, having made his debut at that level with a couple of appearances last season. He will now look to build on his achievements and continue to impress the coaches enough over time to try and gain first team recognition at the club. Luey has played for Wales at both U-16 and U-17 levels and is a member of the squad that will play in the European qualification games next week.

    Freddie Issaka (Plymouth Argyle) born 2006, Forward.
    Beginning his time as a scholar this season, this is Freddie’s second season at Plymouth, the club having signed him from Truro City FC before the start of the last one. Although still an associate schoolboy at the time, Freddie made his first team debut very shortly after arriving at the club when he was introduced off the bench for the last quarter of a Papa John’s Trophy game and becoming Argyle’s youngest ever first team player in the process. He remained in the matchday squads for Plymouth’s other two games in the competition but was an unused substitute both times. Later in the season he made a further two bench appearances, once for a league game and the other an FA Cup tie. Freddie collected his first Wales cap when playing for the U-16’s in a friendly match early last season and then England, alerted to quality of his talent, selected him in their U-16 squad and was capped by them. He however returned to Wales U-16 squad when he played in a development tournament later in the season. This season, Freddie has already played for the Wales U-17’s and will do so again next week when the European qualification tournament occurs.

    Alfie Tuck (Queens Park Rangers) born 2006, Midfielder.
    As a schoolboy associate with Rangers, Alfie played for their U-18 team in three games for them last season but does not seem to have played for them so far this season, although I have to admit that I was not able to locate details for all their games. I’m sure that he will soon be playing for the team and it needs to be stated that he was not available for some games as he was a member of the Wales squad for their U-17 games. Alfie first played for Wales in the spring of 2021 when he was selected in a mixed U-15/U-16 squad and then did so for the U-16’s in the spring of this year. He will be playing for the U-17’s in next week’s tournament having also played in their recent friendly matches.

    Sam Parker (Swansea City) born 2006, Midfielder.
    Sam was introduced to U-18 football last season when he made three substitute appearances for the Swans team and this season started in their first five matches before being sidelined by injury. A midfield player, he has been used in a wing back role for the U-18’s and obviously doing well as his constant selection indicates. Another blow in the short term for Sam was that it seemed he was about to be awarded his first cap for a Wales team as his good form had resulted for selection to the U-17 squad that played in recent friendly games. The injury unfortunately meant that he was unable to fulfill the assignment.
    These boys mentioned this week are transitioning from being very recent school leavers and adapting to a new life of fulltime football. Of course, they are scholars and so some part of their education is being rightfully continued, with the intent of being helpful for them in later life. Their desire is undoubtedly to establish a career in football, and they have obviously exhibited that they have a quality of talent that allows them to have the opportunity to do so. They are part of a number of hundreds that are pursuing that identical dream and only a very few of them will reach the goal they have set themselves at present. That is the unfortunate reality of how professional football works, and we wish them the very best with the hope that they will find a way to beat the odds. They will certainly have the Red Wall cheering for them fervently if they manage it.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]
    Posted: Friday 14th October 2022
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