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        Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 4 Feb 22 : 07:25   refresh for updates

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

    Ben Erickson (Swansea City) born 2000, Defender.

    It has been a delight to see Ben’s name in the line-up for the Swansea U-23 team again this season. He has had some tough times and certainly perseverance is one apt word to mention about his attitude. There can be no doubt that he has dedication and determination in abundance as well, as he has strived to overcome the injury issues that have sidelined him for long periods in recent seasons. Performing well in the Swansea academy he played eight times for the Swansea U-18 team in his last season of schoolboy status. The club signed him to join the scholar programme for the start of the 2017/18 season, but a serious injury prevented him from being available for any U-18 team games. He had recovered by the start of the following season and began playing for the U-18’s. He was doing well and captaining the side before another injury issue ended his season early. He has played in very few games in the previous two and a half seasons, but the quality of his abilities has persuaded the club to keep extending his contract. It is hoped that Ben can continue to accumulate game time and progress his career in a positive manner. In 2016/17 Ben was a member of the Wales U-17 squad and made a couple of appearances in the European qualification matches.

    Tom Leak (Walsall) born 2000, Defender.
    Tom played in local football as a schoolboy until he was spotted by Walsall who signed him to join their academy as a fifteen year old. He did well enough at that stage to earn a scholar contract in the summer of 2017. He continued with impressive performances for the U-18 team and convinced the coaching staff that he was worthy of a professional contract in 2019. He gained some first team experience when he was loaned out to Salisbury for about a five month portion of the 2019/20 season and then added to it with a month spent at Bath City in October/November last season. Although he had been on the bench for a couple of EFL Trophy matches previously, Tom made his first team debut in late March last season and remained a member of the matchday squads for the rest of the season and making five more appearances. Tom has been in the matchday squads for almost all of this season’s games and has added a few more appearances. He will I’m sure be working as hard as possible in the attempt to get a regular place in the team.

    Adam Przybek (Wycombe Wanderers) born 2000, Goalkeeper.

    After previously being a schoolboy associate in their academy, Adam became a scholar at West Bromwich Albion at the start of the 2016/17 season. He played regularly for their U-18 team over the next two seasons before becoming a fulltime professional at the club in 2018. He played for the U-23 team that following season, but a decision was made at its end not to extend his contract beyond that time. He was not a free agent for long, as Ipswich soon signed him in the summer of 2019. It was not a particularly fruitful couple of seasons for him as he only played for the first team in one EFLTrophy game and was away from the club for lengthy periods on loan arrangements. At the end of last season, he was again released and joined Wycombe for the start of this one. It has proved to be a good move for him as he has played in five first team games in cup competitions as well as being on the bench for every league game. Adam played for Wales as an U-15 international but was then selected and played for the England U-16 team. He returned to play for Wales at U-17 level, continued to do so as an U-19 international and in recent seasons has played for the U-21’s.

    Tom Pugh (Scunthorpe United) born 2000, Midfielder.

    As a youngster Tom was a member of the Leeds United academy and became a scholar at the club in the summer of 2017. The following season he decided to move to Scunthorpe to complete his time in youth football with them. He performed well enough to become the recipient of a professional contract in the summer of 2019. Over the next two seasons as a member of their development squad he had some involvement with the first team squad but only featured in a few games. This season he has established himself as a regular member of the first team and has been involved in all but a couple of games. Now he will want to progress his game and see if he might be considered a candidate for an opportunity to play in the higher levels of football. As a schoolboy, Tom was involved with Wales training camps and then in the summer of 2019 gained his first couple of caps when he played for the U-21 team.

    Elliot Thorpe (Luton Town) born 2000, Midfielder.

    After producing impressive performances playing in the Cambridge United academy teams, Tottenham Hotspur signed Elliot to join their programme in 2013. He continued to do well at his new club and in the summer of 2017 became a scholar at Spurs. His progress in the U-18’s persuaded management at the club to retain his services to become a professional as a member of their U-23 squad. In his two seasons with the U-23’s he gained admiration from fans who watched the games, and they posted some positive comments. The club were also sufficiently impressed and offered Elliot a contract extension at the end of last season. He however declined and believed his quest to reach first team football status would be best served by a move to a different club. This prompted strong interest from some clubs, and he eventually signed with Luton a few weeks after the start of the season. He has been playing for their development team since that time and will he hoping that he can impress enough to warrant a first team involvement at some point. Elliot has played for Wales at both U-17 and U-19 levels and has also been involved with the U-21’s, remaining on the bench in both games he was in the squad.

    page posted  Fri, 4 Feb 22 : 07:25 :
    refresh for updates

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 4th February 2022
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