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    Young Guns Blog index


    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

    Matthew Blake and Joe Lewis (Swansea City)
    Over the past 2 seasons Matt and Joe have had somewhat mirroring careers as members of the Swansea U-18 teams. During that time, they both played in the major portion of the games played by the team and performed well enough to be offered professional contracts upon the completion of their time as scholars. Now as part of the club’s U-23 squad, they are continuing their development with the intent of honing their skills to progress further in the game. The knowledge that there is a philosophy at the club, whereby young players considered worthy of an opportunity are selected for first team duty without hesitation, is an encouragement for them to diligently work on their abilities. Knowing that a rewarding conclusion is very much a possibility should give them a reason to push to their maximum limits. They will also be aware that all their team mates will have likewise ambitions and that only a small percentage of them are most probably going to be successful in reaching the common goal. All of them have already excelled in order to have achieved their present status, it is the ones who find the necessary resolve to take that next step forward who will be the eventual recipients of that beckoning by the manager.

    Jack Bodenham (Cardiff City)
    Upon completion of his time as a youth player at Cardiff he accepted the opportunity to continue his time at the club and become a full time professional with them. This made Jack the only one of the group of Welsh scholars that began the process two seasons ago to successfully make that progression. Obviously, a huge compliment to his ability and commitment, but also an example of how difficult a path it is to negotiate for young players starting out in the game once their time as schoolboy footballers comes to an end. For those such as Jack, it is still just another step that has been taken as they aspire to a career of first team football at the highest level possible. It is very much to his credit that he has already become a regular member of the club’s U-23 team. An indication that he has adapted well to the new challenge presented to him and is determined to improve his skills in a manner that may eventually see him proudly take the field as a senior team player at the Cardiff City Stadium. As for all of those that are willing to focus their dedication to reach their goal, we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

    Robbie Burton (Arsenal)
    Robbie is another of those players in the infancy of life as a full time professional. Having been a regular member of the Arsenal U-18 team in the past couple of seasons he is now similarly occupied in a role with the U-23 team. At such a club, he has encountered fierce competition for playing time as they have very large squads available for duty. This gives us an indication of Robbie’s skills and demeanour. Not only does he have to outdo his rivals in terms of numbers, but also, they are those that are recruited because of the very high quality of their abilities. It is very much a feather in his cap that he has done so well to this point in his career. Robbie has of course been involved with Wales throughout his young life in football and represented the nation at schoolboy, U-17, U-19 and is now part of the U-21 squad. I am sure that his ambition is to complete such a statistic with involvement in the Wales senior team fixtures in the years ahead. His hard work has seen him already accumulate some impressive achievements and with a continuation of that application and the little bit of luck that everyone needs to favour them, it could well become a possibility.

    Cole Dasilva (Brentford)
    After a number of years associated with Chelsea, Cole has now moved on to continue his football career by joining Brentford. During his time at Stamford Bridge, he was a part of their successful U-18 squads that won the FA Youth Cup, continuing a run that has dominated that competition over the last few years. A one year professional contract secured at the end of his time as a scholar with them saw him move along to be involved with the U-23 team last season. With no offer of a renewal of that contract, it signaled the end of his time at the club and so after a successful short trial period at Griffin Park, he signed on and is now part of the Bees development squad. He has started well in this new venture and will be aiming to impress enough to challenge for an opportunity for first team consideration in the months ahead.

    Josh Williams (Morecambe)

    Josh is another player who has moved location as he attempts to build a career in football for himself. His schoolboy and scholar times were spent representing Aston Villa but now he has been signed by Morecambe as they try to improve their squad strength by the development of young players they hope will eventually supplement it. Josh will be initially playing reserve team football at the club and there may well be a period loaned out where he can gain the experience of first team football. A successful outcome to this part of his development would please management at the club and set an expectation that he could be an useful addition to the first team squad for the Shrimpers.

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    Posted: Wednesday 3rd October 2018
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