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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 19 Mar 21 : 07:14 : refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

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

    Matthew Baker (Gillingham) born 2003, Defender.
    Matthew is in his second season as a scholar with Gillingham and has been doing well enough to have had an involvement with the first team when they played pre-season games last August. Since that time, he has been playing for the U-18’s as well as in games that the older development team have had. He has also represented Wales on numerous occasions, starting to do so at U-15 level and then the following season as a member of the schoolboy Victory Shield squad. Last season he was not only a member of the U-17 squad that did very well in the European Championship qualification matches but was given the responsibility of captaining the team as well. It has been a long break of around eighteen months since internationals for his age group have been possible, but he will be back in action in a national shirt in a couple of weeks, as a friendly game in preparation for next season’s European U-19 Championships takes place.  

    Thomas Davies (Cardiff City) born 2003, Defender.
    Tom joined the Cardiff schoolboy academy teams as a thirteen year old and did well enough in his three seasons of playing for them to be offered the opportunity to become a scholar with the club. As he began in that capacity, he was selected for the U-18 team’s first game of the season and has played in almost all of their games since that time, obviously pleasing the coaches in his adaptation to a new experience for him. This good form has also alerted the national coaching staff which resulted in his selection for the Wales U-18 squad that will soon be assembling for a training camp and a friendly international.

    Aaron Hillier (Swansea City) born 2003, Forward.
    A first year scholar with the Swans, Aaron has been playing for the U-18’s this season after having been given an introduction to that level of play with a couple of appearances off the bench for the team last season. He has also been involved with the U-23 team this season and has been used as a substitute in a couple of their matches. He has also played quite a few times for the Wales national teams and after being involved in previous years was a member of the schoolboy squad that competed in the 2018/19 Victory Shield tournament. Later that season he was a member of the U-16 squad that played in matches arranged as preparation for transition into the following season U-17 games.

    Anuerin Livermore and Zack Maher (Newport County) born 2003, Midfielders.
    Both Anuerin and Zack are second year scholars at Newport and have been members of the club’s U-18 squad that has had an amount of success in reaching the third round of the FA Youth Cup in the last two seasons. This season they have also had an introduction to first team football with each playing in one EFL Trophy game. Zack started the game he was selected for on the bench, but an early introduction presumably as an injury replacement, allowed him to have around an hour of game time. Anuerin started and played the whole game he was involved in. What the future holds for both of them will depend on decisions Newport’s management make regarding the composition of next season’s playing staff.

    Jadan Raymond (Crystal Palace) born 2003, Midfielder.
    Representing both England and Wales at U-15 level certainly made it a busy time in Jadan’s international career during the 2017/18 season. The following season he was a member of the Wales squad competing in the Victory Shield tournament, but last season England selected him for U-17 duty making him unavailable for Wales as they successfully progressed in the European U-17 preliminary qualifiers. He was selected for the Wales squad that would have competed in the elite qualifying round that was eventually cancelled. He has again been selected by Wales for the upcoming U-18 training camp and friendly match. Obviously coveted by the coaching staff of both nations, they will be able to further assess their opinions as England provide the opposition in the arranged game. Although he had been a member of the Palace academy teams for about eight years, there was considerable interest from other clubs as Jadan contemplated how to proceed with his football career during the summer months. Much to their delight I am sure, he decided to remain with the south London club when signing a professional contract with them upon reaching his seventeenth birthday in October. The Palace U-18 team, although new to the Category One status have been doing very well this season and are presently league leaders in their division. A consequence of having a late start to his season and the team in good form, Jadan has only made four appearances so far for them but I am sure it will eventually significantly increase.

    Keelan Williams (Burnley) born 2003, Defender.
    Following in the footsteps of brother Neco, Keelan was associated with the Liverpool academy teams for many years before they determined they would allow him to leave and become a scholar elsewhere. Burnley had no hesitation in offering him the opportunity to join them and he is in his first season as a scholar at the club. He has been playing for their U-18 team and has featured in over a third of their games. Selected for the recently announced Wales U-18 squad, Keelan also emulates his brother in having a lot of involvement with the national age grade teams. Selected from an early age as a schoolboy he played in the Victory Shield competition and last season was a member of the U-17 squads.

    ++ to be confirmed if eligible for Wales

    page posted: Fri, 19 Mar 21 : 07:14 refresh for updates [ scroll down to post your comments ]

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 19th March 2021
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