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    Young Guns Blog index


    page originally posted : Sun, 26 Jan 20
    Young Guns

    Kieron Evans (Cardiff City)
    Keiron has played in the majority of the Cardiff U-18 team games over the last three seasons and is presently a second-year scholar at the club. An attacking midfielder with the knack of scoring goals also in his repertoire, he has been amongst the leading scorers for the team in each of the seasons he has been involved. He has also played in U-23 team games for the club a couple of times and it may well be that there will be more selections for him to do so over the next months. The path forward after that will be to become a fulltime member of the U-23 squad at the club, if management decide to offer him a professional contract in order to retain his services. The ultimate aim will be to play first team football and if he can maintain his prowess as a regular goal scorer, coaches will be more likely to provide him an opportunity to be tested against increasingly stronger opponents. Keiron has represented Wales as a schoolboy and if he can produce performances at a good level of first team football, he will become a candidate for consideration in adding to the caps already in his possession.

    Bradley Gibbings and William Rickard (Swansea City)
    This is almost certainly just an observation on my part in following the fortunes of young Welsh players, but I do tend to think of Bradley and William in terms of footballing twins. I first became aware of their names as part of a list of schoolboy players in the national development scheme. They later went on to play for the Wales schoolboy team and having been members of the Swansea academy programme then signed on as scholars with the club when their time at school came to an end. They are now in the second year of that status and this season have been playing on somewhat of a regular basis for the U-18 team having also appeared for the team on quite a few occasions last season. They were also both members of the Wales U-17 squad last season. It is more than likely that their career paths will diverge at some point in time and one particular juncture when it may occur will be as this season comes to an end. Prior to that point, the management team at Swansea will be assessing the composition of the U-23 squad for next season. Part of the process will involve which of the present scholars at the club will be retained and move onto their next step of developing their skills as potential first team contenders. We wish them well in their endeavours to be successful.

    Billy Sass-Davies (Crewe Alexandra)
    After a successful two year period as a scholar, Billy was offered terms of a fulltime professional contract by the Crewe management team and he signed on to remain as a player with the club. Now in his second season in that status, Billy has in the most part played regularly for the U-23 development team but has also had some first team involvement. In the late part of last season, after previously having made his first team debut in an EFL Trophy game, he made his League Two debut for the club, playing in a couple of games as well as being on the bench a few times. This season, he has again been on the bench a few times, also coming off the bench to play in an EFL Cup game. He has gained an amount of first team experience with loan assignments at non-league clubs in previous seasons, receiving praise for some of his performances whilst doing so. His aim will be to try and increase his amount of first team playing time at his parent club and eventually establish a regular place in the team. Over the years, Billy has represented Wales in both U-17 and U-19 international games.

    Thomas Sparrow (Stoke City)
    After getting an introduction to U-18 football last season with a few games for the team, Tom has played in almost all of the games in this campaign, mostly starting, also coming off the bench in a few others. As a young schoolboy, Tom was associated with the Wolves academy but then later moved on to join Stoke. In his first season as a scholar with the club, he seems to have established himself as an important part of the team and will most likely become even more so when the next one comes along. Tom has represented Wales at both U-16 and U-17 levels and maintaining the progress he has achieved will surely make him a strong candidate for selection to represent the nation at U-19 level next season. It has almost certainly required strong ethics of determination and dedication along with his inherent ability, to gain the successes of his achievements thus far. A continuation in that mode may well reap rewards to benefit both club and country in the future.

    - John Jones.

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    Posted: Sunday 26th January 2020
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