page updated: Wed. 31 Mar 21 : 08:54 : refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]
To read all last season blog posts scroll through posts on the young guns page
Taylor Curran (Swindon Town) born 2000, Defender. Signed by Swindon from Southend United in the January 2019 transfer window, Taylor made his first team debut for his new club with a brief appearance in the last game of that 2018/19 season. Last season, he was often on the bench for the first team in league games and did play some part in a couple of the games as well as getting significant time in EFL Trophy matches. He is obviously progressing as Swindon envisioned when they signed him, as he has been in the matchday squad in all but one game this season, getting experience playing in the EFL Trophy matches as well as starting one league game and being used as a substitute in many others.
Reuben Duncan (Millwall) born 2000, Midfielder. Now in his second season as a fulltime professional with Millwall, Reuben had a stellar career as a scholar at the club, a regular member of the U-18 team as well playing in some games for the U-23 team. His reward was securing a contract to remain with the club. He was an ever present for the U-23 team last season and has played in most of this season’s games, his absence occurred whilst being loaned to Welling United for a few weeks, where he gained some valuable first team football experience. Reuben has not played for any Wales teams but has been nominated as a standby player for some squads.
Dan Griffiths (Cardiff City) born 2001, Forward. Dan has recently returned to involvement with the Cardiff U-23 team after being absent for the first half of the season. An assumption on my part is that he was unavailable through some injury issue and so it is good to see him back in action. Last season, his first as a fulltime professional, he was loaned out to Penybont and gained a good amount of experience at Cymru Premier level by being involved in a significant portion of the games played in the curtailed season. Having been a member of national teams from his schoolboy days and onward, Dan will want to progress his game to a level where the selectors will have an interest in his inclusion in the U-21 squad and is working hard on making it a possibility.
Pablo Martinez (Bristol Rovers) born 2000, Defender. After having a good career as a scholar with West Brom, Pablo was retained by the club and moved on to be a member of their U-23 squad last season. Impacted by some injury issues, it did not turn out to be as productive a season as had been anticipated and management made the decision to release him at its conclusion. Shortly after the start of this season, Bristol Rovers signed him to become a member of their development team and soon after loaned him to Oxford City. Although non-league football at their level has been badly affected by the virus situation this season, Oxford played more games than many, as they had a good run in the FA Trophy competition before eventually being eliminated at the quarter final stage. Pablo returned to Rovers after that and the experience he gained and a good impression in training, has earned him a spot on the bench for the first team in recent games. He will now be aiming to get an opportunity to make a first team debut and make this season even more successful than it has already been.
Barney Soady (Bristol City) born 2001, Defender. In his first season as a fulltime professional with the club, Barney has missed a lengthy period whilst recovering from an injury he sustained a few months ago and has just returned to playing duty in the last few games. Barney did well enough as a scholar over the two previous seasons to have earned a contract and become a member of the U-23 squad. He not only gained experience playing for the U-18 team but also accumulated a good number of appearances for the U-23 team as well. I am obviously not certain, but I think he was also hindered by some injury issues last season. Hopefully, he can now remain injury free and have plenty of playing time to get his career back on track. He will want to not only impress his club coaches but also national ones after having played for the Wales U-19’s in the early part of last season. Jake Thomas (Swansea City) born 2001, Defender. Jake has been playing on a fairly regular basis for the Swansea U-23 team this season, appearing in around two-thirds of the games played. He completed his time as a scholar with the club last season, making steady progress that persuaded management to retain his services to move on to the next development stage. His aim is to continue along the path of continual improvements in his game and impress the coaches enough to get consideration for first team involvement. Swansea have been successful in developing some very good defensive talent in recent times and this will certainly provide encouragement for Jake. It may well be that first team football on a loan assignment will be utilized to help him towards his intended goal.
Elliot Thorpe (Tottenham Hotspur) born 2000, Midfielder. Spurs signed Elliot from Cambridge when he was fourteen and he progressed through the academy and scholar programmes to be awarded a professional contract in the summer of 2019. He is now in his second season as a member of the U-23 squad and has made appearances in the majority of the games played by the team. Regarded as an attacking midfielder, mention has been made in the past of the high regard Spurs fans watching him play, have of the skills and endeavour he provides the team. In his days as a scholar, Elliot has represented Wales at both U-17 and U19 levels.
++ to be confirmed if eligible for Wales
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