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    Young Guns Blog
    by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 3 Feb 23 : 08:50 refresh for updates

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

    Finlay Ashworth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) born 2005, Midfielder.
    Last season, as an academy player, Fin made a couple of starts for the Wolves U-18 team and had a further eleven occasions when he was introduced into games as a substitute. This season he is a scholar at the club and has played in around half of the team’s games, most as a starter. He will want to build on this experience and work on developing his game over the remainder of this and also next season, as he endeavours to impress management enough to warrant them offering him a professional contract. Fin made his first appearance for Wales when playing for the U-16 development squad in the 2020/21 season. Last season he was a member of the U-17 squad and helped the team qualify from the preliminary tournament and compete in the elite stage of their age group European championships.

    Evan Cadwallader (Newport County) born 2005, Defender.
    After being associated with their academy teams for a couple of seasons, Evan had done well enough to be signed on as a scholar with Newport at the start of last season. He has not only been a regular member of the club’s U-18 team but also been frequently used in the older development team games. He has a versatility that allows the coaching staff to utilize him as either a central defender or in a defensive midfield role to suit the needs of team selection, with the confidence that he can be equally effective in either position. His successful performances in those teams, has also secured invitations to train with the first team squad at times. His hope now will be that a professional contract will be on offer at the end of the season and that he will get the opportunity to become a contributor in first team games in the future.

    Cole Fleming (Cardiff City) born 2005, Forward.
    Starting out with the Cardiff academy teams at U-9 level, Cole has continually developed his abilities to progress impressively and make a substitute appearance for the U-18 team in the 2020/21 season, following that with playing in well over half their games last season. This season, his first as a scholar, he is a regular starter for the team and has been involved in all but one of their games. Capable of performing on either the right or left side of the attack, his rapid pace unsettles defences and creates scoring opportunities for his teammates along with contributing with some goals himself. Cole was involved with Wales teams as a schoolboy and last season played for the U-17 team that qualified from the preliminary round of the European tournament as well as the team that competed in the elite stage.

    Lewis Koumas (Liverpool) born 2005, Forward.
    Affiliated with the Tranmere Rovers academy as a very young boy, Lewis moved to join Liverpool to play for their U-11 team and onwards. He made seven substitute appearances for the U-18 team last season before becoming a scholar at the club in the summer. Having been previously used in more of a midfield or a wide role, this season, a decision to change his position to lead the attack has thrust Lewis into the spotlight with his ability to average a goal a game in the ones he has played. Some injury issues have limited his availability, but nevertheless the Reds management team have had no hesitation in signing him to a professional contract recently. Lewis, who has had no involvement with Welsh teams to this point, qualifies through father Jason who figured prominently for Welsh teams and collected thirty four caps in doing so. Of course, his notoriety will have alerted the English youth management team and they will want provide reasons for him to commit his loyalty to the country of birth.

    Callum Osmand (Fulham) born 2005, Forward.
    Last season, Callum was a prolific scorer for Fulham’s U-16 academy team and so it was hardly surprising that he became a scholar at the club this season. He played in one game for the U-18 team last season and has made appearances in most of the games played in this one. He has continued to be a goal scoring threat at this next level of competition, one of the goals he scored giving the team a last minute win in their third round FA Youth Cup match against Rochdale. He had already scored another in that game and then was one of their two scorers as they progressed on to the fifth round which is due to be played in the near future. Callum first played for Wales in an U-16 development squad game and then last season played for the U-17’s in a friendly preparation game. He then missed the preliminary round European qualification matches but returned to play in the elite stage of the competition.

    Daniel Watts (Swansea City) born 2005, Midfielder.
    During a long association with the Swansea academy teams, Dan made his debut for their U-18 team in the 2020/21 season and played in a total of six games. Last season he continued to be heavily involved with the team and did so in around half of their games. Reaching his sixteenth birthday in December 2021, he became eligible to move on to the scholar ranks this season and has started fourteen of the seventeen games played by the U-18’s as well as making one appearance for the U-21 team. A midfielder but also capable of performing comfortably in defensive assignments for the team, Dan will now want to add to an already impressive resume and reach his goal of first team selection at the Swans. Involved with Wales teams from a young age, he played at U-15 level and, as all his age group did during the pandemic restrictions, had a long wait before then playing for the U-16 development team. Last season he was a member of the U-17 squad each time it was assembled.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]
    Posted: Friday 3rd February 2023
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