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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 10 Dec 21 : 07:35   refresh for updates

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

    Owen Bevan (AFC Bournemouth) born 2003, Defender.

    After playing for the Cherries academy teams for seven seasons, Owen began his time as a scholar with the club at the start of last season. He played for both the U-18 and the U-21 teams at the club as the coaches determined that it would benefit his progress by playing against older opposition as well as those in his age group. At the start of this season, he was elected to be captain of the U-18 team but at that time he did not train with his youth team mates. He was selected to join the first team pre-season training squad, not only doing so as they prepared at their home base but was also included in the group that went abroad as they intensified the training demands. Certainly, an indication of how highly he is regarded at the club and one they believe has the potential to be of value at first team level in the future, as he moves on into a professional status next season. Owen played for the Wales schoolboy team at U-15 level and has then done so for both the U-17 and U-19 teams. He was selected for the U-18 squad that attended a training camp and played a friendly game in the spring of last season but was unfit at the time and so had to withdraw, missing the chance to get capped at that level.

    Jac Clay (Cardiff City) born 2003, Defender.

    After playing in a few games for the Cardiff U-18 team as an associated schoolboy in the 2019/20 season, Jac started his time as a scholar with the club at the beginning of last season. He has played in almost all of the U-18 team’s games since that time, only missing five of them in the period. The coaches are obviously satisfied with his defensive abilities at that level of football, and he will be hoping that he has impressed enough to be offered a professional contract. He has not played any games at U-23 level, but he may well have an opportunity to do so in the second half of the season. The club does have a sizeable U-23 squad and the team has been doing very well so far. It will be quite a test if he does get the chance, but undoubtedly be delighted to receive it, as well as attempting his utmost to provide a positive impression. Jac was involved with Wales teams as a schoolboy but had to wait for his first cap for the nation until reaching U-17 eligibility. He was a member of the squad that competed in the 2019/20 European preliminary qualification tournament, one in which the team successfully negotiated to move on to the elite stages. Unfortunately, covid caused the cancellation of the remainder of the competition a few months later.

    Ben Hughes (Swansea City) born 2003, Goalkeeper.

    Ben not only caught the eye of the Swansea scouting group with his performances playing at Chippenham Town but also came to the attention of the national coaches and so he was selected to join the Wales U-18 squad that was assembled for last season’s training camp. He joined Swansea in the summer and has been playing regularly for their U-18 team this season and will complete his eligibility at the level when it ends. Next season Ben will become a member of the U-23 squad as he completes the time of his present contract. Initially his aim will be to warrant playing time for that team and produce performances that will persuade management to offer a contract extension, allowing him to continue towards the ambition of eventually playing first team football for the club. As already mentioned, Ben’s first involvement with the national teams was with the U-18’s and this season he played for the U-19’s in an early season friendly tournament.

    Harry Leeson (Bristol City) born 2003, Defender.

    Although it is very limited information that I can locate for the Bristol City U-18 team, I do feel confident in saying that Harry played regularly for them last season, his first one as a scholar at the club. He has also been playing for the team this season although I suspect that at times, he has been unavailable for them, possibly through injury issues. He did also play a half dozen times for the U-23 team last season but has not done so in this one. I am sure that he will be hoping for opportunities to do so during the remainder of the season to prove that he has the ability to be competitive at that level. It may possibly be the challenge he has to negotiate in order for him to gain a contract offer and remain a part of the playing staff beyond the end of his time as a scholar. Harry’s impressive form last season earned him selection for the Wales U-18 squad in March and he gained his first cap when coming off the bench for the last quarter of an hour or so in the friendly they played against England.

    Lewys Twamley (Newport County) born 2003, Midfielder.
    Lewys began his time as a scholar with Newport at the start of the 2019/20 season and made his first team debut for the club in his second in that capacity last season. He played in three Papa John’s Trophy games, remaining on the field throughout each, except for being replaced in the final few minutes of one. Performing well in his time as a scholar ensured that Lewys was offered a professional contract at the end of last season, which he accepted. This season he has been playing most of his football with the development team and has only added a few minutes to his first team experience when entering the game late in a Papa John’s Trophy match, remaining on the bench in another tie. Lewys is predominantly a midfield player but is also capable of filling a more defensive left sided role when necessary. He has managed to contribute goals for the teams he has played for throughout his career and so he is also adaptable to play in a more forward role. He enjoyed his first involvement with Wales teams last season when he was selected for the U-18 squad and made his international debut coming off the bench in the game against England. This season, he added three more caps to his collection when starting in one game and coming off the bench in the other two as a member of the Wales U-19 squad that played in the early season friendly tournament. It coincided with Newport’s first Trophy match and accounts for his absence from the squad in that game.

    page posted  Fri, 10 Dec 21 : 07:35 :
    refresh for updates

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 10th December 2021
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