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    WELSH FOOTBALL YOUTH : YOUNG GUNS BLOG

      
        Young Guns Blog by John Jones



    page updated: Fri, 12 Mar 21 : 06:34 : refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Tom Hill (Liverpool) born 2002, Midfielder.
    After a decade of association with the Liverpool academy teams, Tom began his career in fulltime football training as a member of the new intake of scholars at the start of last season. He made an immediate impact as he started playing for the U-18 team, contributing quite a few early season goals for them from his midfield position. This earned him a place in the Liverpool U-21 team entered in the EFL Trophy and he played in a couple of games which gave him the experience of competing against much stronger opposition than he had previously encountered. Soon after, he was challenged to play against players from a Premier League squad when making his first team debut in a EFL Trophy game. As a result of a fixture conflict, Liverpool decided to use developmental players to make up the squad for the game, but Tom must have made a very strong impression to get included after only four months of playing in U-18 matches. After that time, it was back to playing for the U-18’s for remainder of the shortened season. At the start of this season, Tom suffered a serious knee injury in training and the lengthy recovery required will see him miss most probably all this season. Hopefully, all is going well, we wish him the best and look forward to his return to playing duty.

    Luca Hoole (Bristol Rovers) born 2002, Defender.

    Luca has made good progress in his half dozen years of association with Rovers and became a scholar at the club at the start of the 2018/19 season. As his second season in that status got under way, he was selected to be part of the first team squad as they conducted pre-season preparations. He was given an introduction to first team football when coming off the bench for the last thirty minutes of an EFL Trophy match in September 2019 as well having six bench appearances in league and cup games in that period. It was decided that for this season, as Luca moved on from being a scholar, he would benefit from gaining first team experience on loan and an agreement for him to join Taunton Town was arranged. With the pandemic still affecting non-league football, only a handful of league, along with some cup games were possible before the season was recently abandoned and so it did not prove to be the advantage that was hoped for. Luca is now back at his home club and playing for the U-23 development team. His good form last season prompted selection for the Wales U-19’s and he played in preparation matches as well as being a member of the squad that played in the European qualification games.

    Josh Hutchings (Swansea City) born 2002, Goalkeeper.
    Swansea recruited and then signed Josh after a successful trial period in late 2018. He had previously been playing in the Pembrokeshire area and had spells with both Milford Haven and Haverfordwest County. He has been a scholar with the Swans since the start of last season and has been playing for the U-18 team this season. I can only add that he has played in some games as I can only locate a partial record of U-18 team appearances and do not know the team composition for more than half their games. This is also all the information I can provide for Josh and apologize for it being limited.

    Jack Madelin (AFC Wimbledon) born 2002, Defender.
    Last season, his second as a scholar with Wimbledon, Jack made his first team debut for the club when introduced off the bench for the last few minutes of a league game in October. He had been on the bench for the previous league game and then had further occasions in a league and couple of cup matches. In mid-November he did play a full match when selected for the team that played in a EFL Trophy game. He was then loaned to Walton Casuals in late February but with football suspended only a few days later was probably only able to play in one game for them. This season, he has been hampered by injuries. He was loaned to Leatherhead in September, but the disruption to non-league football as well as injury probably restricted his playing time. Wimbledon recently announced that Jack has returned to full fitness and has been playing for the development team, hopefully he can build on returning to his best. As a schoolboy, Jack played for Wales teams and was a member of the 2017/18 Victory Shield squad. The following season, he played in a number of games for the national U-17 team.

    Morgan Sadler (Nottingham Forest) born 2002, Defender.
    In February last year Forest announced that they had signed Morgan on a professional contract and were assigning him as a member of their U-23 squad. I can offer no explanation as to why he has not played in any U-23 matches since that time and neither has he for the U-18 team, for which he is still eligible this season.

    Frazer Thomas (Cardiff City) born 2002, Midfielder.
    After playing for eight years for the Cardiff schoolboy academy teams, Frazer moved into the scholar ranks at the club in the summer of 2019. This season he has played in most of the U-18 team games after having made appearances in almost half of those played last season. He will have been working hard on developing his abilities and trying to impress the coaching staff, as evaluations and decisions are required on which of the second year scholars will be offered contracts to continue their association with the club. Such decisions are undoubtedly difficult circumstances for all concerned and the unfortunate part of football that only a portion of those who start out as scholars can secure a professional contract. Even for those that are successful, the competition is a fierce one to overcome and continue life as a fulltime footballer. We certainly wish Frazer all the very best for the future whatever the outcome may be. As a youngster he played for a Wales team at U-15 level.

    ++ to be confirmed if eligible for Wales

    page posted: Fri, 12 Mar 21 : 06:34 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]


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