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    Young Guns Blog index


    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

    Callum James (Bolton Wanderers)
    Callum joined Bolton part way through the 2017/18 season making quite a good number of appearances for their U-18 team after he started showing up on the announced line ups. This season he has continued either in the starting line up or on the bench, as he has basically shared the goal keeping duties. There has also been some bench time involvement with the clubís U-23 team. In August, Callum was on duty for the Wales U-19 team, gaining his first international cap when playing in a friendly match against the equivalent Republic of Ireland team. He was also on the bench in another game against them, as well as when Wales played against the Polish U-19ís. In his time as a schoolboy, he had been selected to attend national training camp sessions but this was his first involvement since that time and he will certainly be working hard on his skills hoping that further representative honours will occur in the future.

    Adam Przybek (West Bromwich Albion Ė on loan at Gloucester City)
    Having completed his time as a scholar at the club, Adam is now a full time professional with them and part of the U-23 development squad. At present he is gaining experience at first team level football through his loan arrangement with Gloucester City. Adam has been a member of Wales international teams for some years, schoolboy, U-17 and now with the U-19ís. During his time as a schoolboy and a little beyond, he was actively courted by selectors from the English international camp resulting in him making an appearance for their U-16 team. For the last couple of seasons in particular, he has been a constant selection for Wales age group teams, his latest occasion of doing so being part of the squad that was successful in the recent UEFA U-19 qualification matches. He, along with the rest of the squad will now be anticipating the next set of qualifiers as they move on to the elite round in the spring. Though it is very difficult to make a correct prediction about future football events, it is feasible at this time to assume that not only will Adam be a selection for the U-19ís later this season but will also be a strong contender for the Wales U-21 squad that will be competing in qualifiers for their age group next season. In the meantime he will be constantly working on his skill set, as he tries to achieve a career in football at the highest level possible.

    George Ratcliffe (Cardiff City)
    George, along with Adam have been the incumbent members of the Wales U-19 squad for the last two seasons when available for duty and was the other goalkeeper in the squad for the recent qualifiers mentioned above. In general they have shared game time as both are considered very competent for Wales at U-19 level. A second year scholar with the Bluebirds, he has played in all of the clubís U-18 team games this season. Last season, he appeared in about half of the teamís games as well as almost that amount the previous season when he was a schoolboy associate with the club. Representation for Wales teams has also been a constant feature during those times, as he played in schoolboy and U-17 international matches for the nation. The question about the progression of his career will first be answered when Cardiff announce a decision on whether they will retain his services beyond when his time as a scholar comes to completion next spring. It would seem that there is a likely possibility of him being offered a professional contract by the club but until management and coaches have conferred on the playing staff configuration for next season, that is about all that can be inferred for now. In the meantime, his focus will be to keep performing well for the Cardiff U-18 team as they aim to maintain impressive results and a table topping status until the end of the season. Added to this will be the anticipation of being challenged by very strong opponents when the U-19 elite qualification competition takes place a few months from this time.

    Scott Reed and Nathan Shepperd (Swansea City)
    Both Scott and Nathan are second year scholars with Swansea and have been involved in all of the clubís U-18 matches up to this point in the season. They have started an equal number of games for the team and been on the bench for the game in which the counterpart has been selected for duty. Last season, neither was the primary choice as starting goalkeeper for the U-18 team although with quite a few late season appearances, Nathan did play in around a quarter of their games with bench appearances in a large proportion of their other ones. Scott did not make a start in any game but did have bench assignments for some games. Scott did have some injury issues during the season and so it may well have restricted his availability at times. Other than being selected for training camps during his time as a schoolboy, Nathan has not had any international involvement with Wales teams. Scott, affiliated with Liverpool at that time, has played for Wales as a schoolboy and then the U-17ís when he had joined Swansea. He did however have to miss quite a few U-17 games, withdrawing through injury after he was named in the original squads selected. With their time in the youth ranks entering into the last few months of eligibility, decisions will need to be made by club management whether there will be an offer of a new contract for these two young men. Becoming part of the U-23 squad would be the next step for them if a continuance of association with the club is answered in the affirmative.

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    Posted: Wednesday 5th December 2018
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