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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 27 Jan 23 : 08:00 refresh for updates

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

    Morgan Boyes (Livingston FC) born 2001, Defender.
    Doing well, initially in the club’s academy and then as a scholar with Liverpool, Morgan earned a professional contract with them in the summer of 2019. Moving on to play in their older development team after previously playing for the U-18’s, he made his first team debut as part of a very young team that was fielded for the fifth round Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa during a time of fixture congestion circumstances. This was followed by a very late introduction off the bench for a fourth round FA Cup tie a few weeks later. Morgan was loaned out to Fleetwood Town at the start of the 2020/21 season and after playing a few times for them in early season games, returned to Liverpool for the second half of it. He played regularly for their U-23 team for the remainder of that season as well as doing so for the first half of last season, before being allowed to leave the club to join Livingston in the January 2022 transfer window. He was viewed by the club’s management as a valuable addition to the first team playing squad and did play in some Scottish Premiership games last season. At the start of this season, he was unavailable for the first few weeks as he recovered from injury, but upon his return to fitness has been playing and starting to establish himself as a regular first team starter. He will now want to consolidate on this and build on becoming an influential player for the team. A long association with Wales teams began as a schoolboy and he was a member of the U-16’s that competed in the 2016/17 Victory Shield matches. He then continued with the U-17’s and U-19’s, then collected twelve caps playing for the U-21 team as that eligibility was completed at the end of last season.

    Lewis Collins (Newport County) born 2001, Forward.
    Joining the Newport academy at a young age, Lewis impressed as he progressed to eventually become a scholar with the club at the start of the 2017/18 season. Making his first team debut shortly after, when playing for them in an EFL Trophy game, Lewis then played in the same competition the following season as well as having around a half dozen occasions on the bench for Carabao Cup, FA Cup and league games. He became a full professional in 2019 and has continued as a member of the first team squad since that time, amassing approaching a century of appearances during that period. The vast majority of them have occurred as a substitute, tending to be used by the various managers as an impact player. An attacking player who can certainly unsettle the opposition with his direct style, it is most likely the lack of adding a goal scoring record to his abilities that prevents Lewis from accumulating more starting assignments. Lewis has had numerous occasions representing Wales over the years, playing for the U-17’s, U19’s and then for the U-21’s in most recent times.

    Christian Norton (Cheltenham Town) born 2001, Forward.
    An academy player and then a scholar with Southampton, Christian made a dozen appearances off the bench for the U-18 team in the 2017/18 season and then became a regular starter for the team in the following one. He certainly caught the attention of many by scoring at a rate that had him the top scorer for the team by a large margin. Retained by the club on professional terms, he was however released after only one season as a development team member. Without a club for a period, he was signed by Stoke City a few weeks into the 2020/21 season after a successful trial with them. After initially doing well in their development team, he made a half dozen appearances in Championship games during the latter part of the season. He played for Stoke in a couple of early 2021/22 season Carabao Cup games before being loaned out to Cheltenham. He played in more than a dozen games for them before returning to Stoke in January 2022 and remained there playing for the development team. Released at the end of the season, he was then signed on a permanent basis by Cheltenham and has made appearances in most of the games played this season. When Christian’s eligibility for Wales was confirmed, he was selected and played for the U-19’s and has also collected one U-21 cap since that time.

    Sam Pearson (Bristol City – on loan at AFC Wimbledon) born 2001, Forward.
    Moving from the academy to become a scholar with City at the start of the 2018/19 season, Sam was introduced to the atmosphere of first team football a few months later when named on the bench for an FA Cup tie in January 2019. Other than that occasion, he played for the club’s U-18 team along with many instances for the U-23’s during the remainder of his scholar time. As a full professional in the 2020/21 season, Sam was a regular member of the matchday squad during its second half and made a handful of appearances in the latter games as it drew to a close. Last season, Inverness Caledonian Thistle secured his loan for the second half of it, and he played regularly for them in the Scottish Championship before a return to his parent club a few weeks before completion with a fitness issue. This season, he was loaned out to Yeovil Town, playing in a double digit amount of games for them before his return to City and then a couple of weeks ago began a loan at Wimbledon for the remainder of the season. His quest now will be to get as much playing time as possible in League 2 matches and gain valuable experience. After his first representative honours playing for the Wales U-17 team, Sam has gone on to collect almost a couple of dozen caps playing for the U-19’s and U-21’s as well as in a game considered to be a Wales U-20 team.

    Terry Taylor (Burton Albion) born 2001, Midfielder.
    After a few years as a member of Aberdeen’s academy teams, Terry moved to Wolves when they negotiated for him to join them as a scholar for the 2017/18 season. He played regularly for their U-18 team during that and the following season and then became a member of their U-23 squad. He made his only first team appearance for Wolves when introduced as a substitute for a Carabao Cup match in the 2019/20 season and then played regularly for the U-23 team. In September 2020, he was loaned to Grimsby Town and played regularly in League 2 for them, returned to his parent club in the January transfer window before making a permanent move to Burton soon after. He played for his new team on a fairly regular basis during his initial time there, then during the second half of last season and on into this one, has established himself as very much a regular starter in the team. As a schoolboy, Terry represented both Scotland and Wales and was a member of the Welsh Victory Shield squad in the 2016/17 season. He was then persuaded to pledge his allegiance to his native land and played for them at U-17 level. This was followed by a return to Welsh representation, collecting eleven caps playing for the U-21 team. He was called up once for a senior team training camp in the early days of Ryan Giggs’ management period and his impressive form this season will certainly have earned him consideration for senior squad selection in the spring.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]
    Posted: Friday 27th January 2023
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