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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 29 Octt 21 : 09:00  refresh for updates

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

    Cian Ashford (Cardiff City) born 2004, Forward.
    A member of the Wales 2019/20 Victory Shield team, Cian also played in a half dozen games during that season for the Cardiff U-18 team. He played for the team a further ten times last season and contributed substantially scoring eight goals in those appearances. An impressive statistic which suggests he would likely have played even more games had he been available. That is just a supposition on my part, and I do not factually know if it is correct. This season, Cian has reached the age when he was eligible to become a scholar at the club and that is now his status. An indication of how highly the Cardiff coaching staff regard his quality is provided by his numerous appearances for the club’s U-23 team as it would seem they believe he is ready to be challenged in tougher circumstances than youth football. His international career has continued with him being a member of this season’s Wales U-18 squad, having missed out on an opportunity at U-17 level with international competition suspended last season. He was selected for the U-17 training camp group last season.

    Harrison Bright (Newport County) born 2004, Defender.
    As a schoolboy, Harrison was a member of the Cardiff City academy for a number of years but then moved to Newport to become a scholar at the club at the start of last season. It was a successful move as he not only became a regular member of their U-18 team but also made his first team debut when selected for a Papa John’s Trophy game. He did well enough to warrant being chosen to play in the next game in the competition and has added another appearance when playing in the first game of this season’s version. He will be hoping that he has justified some further first team consideration this season and that as his scholar tenure comes to an end, he will be offered an opportunity to remain a part of the playing staff at Rodney Parade. Harrison played in the 2018 Cymru Cup matches and was involved with Wales teams as a schoolboy.

    Cameron Congreve (Swansea City) born 2004, Midfielder.
    After playing a half dozen times for the Swansea U-18 team as a schoolboy, Cameron joined the playing staff as a first year scholar at the start of last season. It was a busy time for him as he continued playing for the U-18’s accumulating another twenty appearances for them. He added another fourteen appearances for the club’s U-23 team as the coaching staff decided to accelerate his progress by exposing him to the next level of competition in development football. A midfielder with an impressive scoring record from that position, he was in fact the top goal scorer for the U-18’s last season. He has played a half dozen times for the U-18’s this season and has contributed three goals. He hasn’t played for the U-23’s so far this season, one occasion on the bench his only involvement up to now. He will certainly want to try and get as much playing time as possible at that level, in order to persuade the management that he is worthy of receiving a professional contract and extending his time at the club beyond the end of the present season. Cameron had a busy time as a schoolboy, representing Wales on numerous occasions, including as a member of the 2019/20 Victory Shield team. He was selected as a member of last season’s Wales U-18 squad which attended a training camp and played a friendly match against England after selection for the U-17 training camp earlier in the season. He has continued to be a member of the U-18 squad this season.

    Will Jenkins-Davies (Plymouth Argyle) born 2004, Midfielder.
    Will played regularly for the Plymouth U-18 team last season, providing some eye-catching performances and my mention at that time that he was a first year scholar with the club. I apologize for my mistake as I have since realized that he started as a scholar at the beginning of this season. Not only playing for U-18 team in his new status, he also made his first team debut when introduced off the bench in a Papa John’s Trophy match along with making a couple of appearances on the bench for League 1 games. It was hardly surprising that the management team recently signed him on professional terms as soon as he had reached his seventeenth birthday. It seems that he will soon be adding to that solitary appearance and may well be on course to become a regular member of the first team squad before the season’s end. He has been involved with Wales teams since his schoolboy days, another of those in the previously mentioned Victory Shield squad and also a member of last season’s U-17 training camp squad as well as this season’s U-18 one.

    Chris Popov (Leicester City) born 2004, Forward.
    Yet another member of the Victory Shield squad for the 2004 age group, Chris at that time was affiliated with the Manchester United academy. It was Leicester who offered terms for him to join their club as a scholar and Chris accepted and is in his first season in that capacity with them. A regular goal scorer for the teams he played with as a schoolboy, the Foxes are undoubtedly pleased with his continuation of maintaining a very productive rate as he has become a regular in their U-18 team. Chris has of course been very active with Wales teams over the years, and last season was selected for the U-17 squad that attended an early season training camp followed by a call up to join the U-18 squad gathered for a training camp and friendly match in the spring. This season, Chris was selected as a member of the U-19 squad that played in the European Championships qualification round last month.

    Quite a lot of mention about the Victory Shield competition this week and the one conducted in the 2019/20 season resulted in the Wales team sharing the champion honours with their counterparts from Scotland. The competition had to be canceled last season as the pandemic restrictions prevented many football games from taking place. It resumed when the competition was contested in Northern Ireland last week and once again Wales and Scotland were the co-champions. Congratulations to the young boys and the coaches on their success.

    page posted  Fri, 29 Oct  21 : 09:00 : refresh for updates

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 29th October 2021
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