My first article this season included mention of three young guns who had become first team debutants at Cardiff City. Now we can add two more names to that list as wing-back/winger Josh Beecher and forward James Crole made appearances in the recent Carabao Cup tie. Introduced with thirty minutes of game time remaining, they acquitted themselves well enough to earn praise for some parts of their contribution. James completed his time as a scholar in 2021 and is now an U-21 squad member. He played for the Wales U-18 team in the 2021/22 season and was a member of last season’s U-19 squad. Josh is still eligible for the Cardiff U-18’s but has also played for the U-21’s. He has played for Wales at U-16 level and was a member of last season’s U-17 squad. This season he has played in a couple U-19 friendly games. Their aim now will be to continue adding further to their skill quality, hoping to create reasons for an assessment and selection for that second appearance in the shortest possible wait period. Cian Ashford and Joel Colwill, two of the three previous debutants, were also given some significant minutes as substitutes in the game and so added some more experience at that level and will doubtless also be anxious to vie for other opportunities.
Barnsley midfielder Jonathan Bland is another we can add to our growing list in the debut category after he was summoned off the bench twenty minutes prior to the completion of the club’s recent EFL Trophy game. I had mentioned Jonathan some weeks ago as well, at the time I was referring to U-18 teammate Vimal Yogathan’s debut. Vimal also played in this recent game as well as having done so in the previous EFL Trophy game. Well done both of you young men. A repeat of that last sentence for James Sweet, again previously mentioned, this time it is for accomplishing his first selection for the Arsenal first team. He was on the bench for their Carabao Cup tie.
It is a pleasurable occasion for me to mention about, as well as adding a greeting of congratulations to Ipswich Town forward Finlay Corrigan in anticipation of him attaining full professional status in a few months’ time. Joining Ipswich in 2019 as an academy player after previously being an associate at Tottenham Hotspur, he became a scholar at the club in the summer of 2021. A serious injury necessitating reconstructive surgery delayed his availability for eighteen months as he endured the necessary recovery and rehabilitation process toward regaining full fitness last season. Ipswich were impressed enough with his ability and application to instigate an extension of his scholar contract beyond its scheduled conclusion in the summer, as they completed their evaluation process. The agreement previously mentioned indicates an Ipswich management belief that Finlay has the potential to become a valuable contributor in the club’s teams as he further develops his skills. All of this portrays a character with immense resolve and an excellent work ethic in overcoming such an adversity that could have permanently derailed a career, as similar incidents are on record of having done to others. He will soon receive his first slice of the reward cake, knowing that applications of grit and endeavor to continually improve are necessary for further helpings to be available. Having been fortunate in this case to be supplied some extra information which I gratefully acknowledge has been very helpful, I can assure you that the qualities I have implied are necessary to reap the rewards are a trait that Finlay possesses and so I add a wish of all good fortune for his dream to be realized. A strong Welsh connection on both sides of his family gives Finlay the credentials for eligibility and the first steps to possible national representation were taken by attending the 2019 Cymru Cup matches. A situation in which he certainly drew attention to his candidacy by scoring a hattrick in one of the games. This in turn led to selection and thereby becoming a member of the 2019/20 Wales U-15 squad. Presently loaned to Hemel Hempstead Town, he is gaining good experience through accumulating plenty of action minutes in his initial foray into first team football.