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    Young Guns Blog
    by John Jones

    page updated: Mon, 13 Mar 23 : 09:32 refresh for updates

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

    +Will Blackmore (Peterborough United) born 2001, Goalkeeper.
    Initially an academy player, then a scholar, and now in his third season as a professional at the club, Will has made good progress in the various Peterborough teams and become fully established as a member of the first team squad. In the 2020/21 season, his first after graduating as a scholar, Will was given some first team duty assignments when on the bench in all the Papa John’s Trophy games and then his debut when substituted in for the last few minutes of the final league game. After being on the bench for well over half of last season’s games, Will’s next first team appearances occurred this season as a starter in the second round Carabao Cup tie and then made three starts in December league games. As signified, there will need to be an official confirmation of eligibility, prior to any selection for Wales duty.

    Adam Przybek (Stevenage) born 2000, Goalkeeper.
    Adam signed for Stevenage in the January transfer window after leaving Walsall, with whom he had signed before the start of this season. Developing his skills as a youngster with West Bromwich Albion, he progressed to become a professional at the club but was released after one season in that status. Only briefly a free agent before Ipswich sought his signature, he spent a couple of seasons with them before moving on to join Wycombe Wanderers in the 2021/22 season. Adam played for both Wales and England as a schoolboy and then resumed with Wales in the U-17 age group. He has also played for the U-19’s and the U-21 team.

    Morgan Roberts (Swindon Town – on loan at Aldershot) born 2000, Midfielder.
    After being an academy player from a young age and then a scholar at Northampton, Morgan became a professional at the club in the summer of 2018. A member of the first team squad over the next three seasons, he made eighteen appearances as well as many other occasions on the bench before being released in 2021. Having previously been at the club on a short term loan, he signed on with Banbury and had a successful 2021/22 season with them. That scenario continued at the beginning of this season and Swindon negotiated for him to join them prior to the end of the summer transfer window. As he transitions back into full time football, Morgan has been loaned out to Aldershot in early February and will assist them for the remainder of the season. In the spring of 2019, Morgan was selected for, and attended a training camp conducted for Wales U-21 team candidates.

    Nathan Sheppard (Dundalk) born 2000, Goalkeeper.
    Nathan joined Brentford in the summer of 2019 having previously being an academy player and then a scholar at Swansea. An impressive first season playing for the Brentford B team elevated his status to becoming a first team squad candidate in the summer of 2020 before an injury in a pre-season match delayed the possibility. What was first considered a recovery period of a few weeks, prolonged into a lengthier period and delayed the progress Nathan was achieving at the London club. Though pleased with his performances, the promotion achievement of the first team into the Premier League had increased the recruitment efforts at the club and so Nathan was allowed to leave and join Dundalk in January 2022. Establishing himself as the first choice goalkeeper at the League of Ireland Premier club and a firm favourite with the fans last season, Nathan will be keen to impress further in the new season that began recently, a situation that may prompt interest from other clubs as he gains the experience and refines his skills. Nathan was involved in Wales training camps as a schoolboy and then a combination of covid restrictions and then the injury derailed the possibility of winning his first Wales cap at U-21 level. Fortunately, a return to fitness did allow him to collect four caps before his eligibility was completed last season.

    Ryan Stirk (Birmingham City – on loan at Bromley) born 2000, Midfielder.
    Developing from a young age at the academy and then as a scholar at Birmingham, Ryan became a professional at the club in 2019, impressing in the development team to earn a half dozen first team matchday squad occasions late in the 2019/20 season. However, his first team debut did not arrive until the penultimate game of the following season, receiving management praise for his performances in the two games he played. A loan arrangement with Mansfield last season resulted in Ryan gaining a full season of first team experience and accolades for his contribution towards a successful season for the club. A decision to remain at his parent club as opposed to another loan has proven somewhat disappointing for Ryan as he has managed only two first team playing assignments this season, both off the bench for around the last third of a Carabao Cup tie and a league game. The recent agreement for a loan at Bromley will allow him plenty of first team experience for the remainder of the season. An association with Wales teams from the earliest of times as a schoolboy has seen Ryan capped at that level and subsequently at U-17, U-19 and at U-21 levels.

    Elliott Thorpe (Luton Town) born 2000, Midfielder.
    Recruited by Tottenham Hotspurs from Cambridge United as a fourteen year old, Elliott eventually became a professional with them and was doing well enough in their development squad for them to offer an extension on his contract. A preference by Elliott to seek first team football elsewhere resulted in his move to Luton a few weeks after the start of last season. After performing well in their development team, he made his first team debut playing in the club’s fourth round FA Cup tie and also had some occasions on the bench in league matches. The first half of this season was spent on loan at Burton Albion but he is now back at Luton for the remainder of it. Initially playing for Wales in their U-17 team, Elliott has also played for the U-19’s and U-21’s.

    Lewis Webb (Swansea City) born 2001, Goalkeeper.
    After his selection for the Wales U-19 squad as a Merthyr Town player, Swansea signed Lewis to become a second year scholar with them at the start of the 2019/20 season. The following season he was a member of the U-23 squad and played for the team until going on loan with League of Ireland Premier side Shelbourne in the second half of last season. During the first half of this season, he gained further first team experience on loan at Aberystwyth in the Cymru Premier League. He is now back at Swansea, where although he is yet to experience first team playing time at the club, has been involved in the matchday squad a few times. In the early weeks of last season, he was on the bench for a Carabao Cup game as well as a couple of times in the Championship. He was also recently on the bench for three league games in February. As well as playing for the U-19’s, Lewis has represented Wales at U-20 and U-21 levels.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]
    Posted: Monday 13th March 2023
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