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    Young Guns Blog index


    page originally posted : Mon, 2 Mar 20
    Young Guns

    Joe Adams (Brentford)
    The initial involvement of Joe with Welsh teams occurred when he was selected for the U-17 team a couple of seasons ago. After impressing with displays that warranted his inclusion, it became apparent in the following weeks that he was certainly a very useful addition to those available to represent Wales. Gaining praise for youth team performances resulted in some first team exposure with a number of appearances on the bench during the second half of the season. There was an introduction to play during a couple of the matches, which provided a few minutes of experience at League One level. Last season he continued to build on this with some more first team appearances in various competitions as well as being an important contributor for the youth team as they had a terrific run in the FA Youth Cup. These instances happened when Joe was at Bury, persuading Brentford to negotiate for him to join them last summer. He has been playing for what is termed as Brentford B, which is their developmental professional squad, this season. They do not compete in an organized developmental league but do make sure they play on a regular basis. Their fixtures comprise of county cup matches and friendlies against foreign and domestic teams. As well as playing regularly in those games, Joe has had a busy schedule with the Wales U-19 team and was an important contributor in the successful preliminary qualification tournament in the autumn. The team now moves on to play in the elite round of the competition in late March and it is expected for Joes name to be included in the squad that will soon be announced for the occasion.

    Alex Babos (Derby County)
    Previously a scholar with the club, Derbys management team awarded Alex a fulltime professional contract in the summer of 2016 and so he is now in his fourth season in that capacity. During that time, he has amassed well over a half century of appearances for the U-23 team, captaining it on numerous occasions as well. It would have been even more had he not been away from the club when loaned out to Spanish third tier club Real Union during the first half of last season. It did not prove to be a particularly beneficial time for Alex as he made only a few appearances and accumulated only limited time on the field to enhance his experience. It may have also dented his confidence somewhat, but it does seem that he is overcoming those issues, as he has consistently made the starting line up in the U-23 team during the last two or three months. I am sure he is intent getting his performance levels back up to a point where another opportunity for first team football involvement beckons. Alex played quite a few times for the Wales U-21 team during the qualification matches for the UEFA U-21 championships which ended last season. An indication of the continually strengthening competition for places in the squad is that he has not featured in the campaign which started earlier this season. It is, I am sure, another target that he would be pleased to attain.

    Ryan Kavanagh (Cardiff City)
    Last season, as an academy player on associated schoolboy terms, Ryan was selected to start in half of the games the Cardiff U-18 team matches also adding introductions off the bench on a couple of other occasions. This season, as a first year scholar, he has continued with regular appearances for the team as he would seem to be making a favourable impression on the coaching staff. This is further verified by his appearance in a few of the matches played by the U-23 team last season, also playing for that team on one occasion this season. In the remainder of this season and as he completes his tenure as a scholar in the next one, his intention will be to become increasingly influential in the games he performs in, securing a contract with the club that takes him to the next stage in the development of his career.

    George Rounsfell (Newcastle United)
    George played in almost all of the Newcastle U-18 team games last season and that may well have been repeated this season. Missing for the first few games the team played and then for a run of consecutive games in the final weeks of 2019, my guess is that an injury situation prevented him from being available to continue his regular inclusion in the side. He has played in the games since the turn of the year and so hopefully he will remain available for the remainder of the season. As a second year scholar, his intent will be to impress the management and coaching staff in order to remain associated with the club beyond the completion of his time as a youth squad member. To do so will need an offer of a contract that would further his development as part of U-23 squad next season. Referenced as a defender, my interpretation of team lineups suggests that he was utilized as such last season. It does seem that he has moved into a midfield role in this one. His versatility maybe viewed as a positive factor in the retention of his services.

    Daniel Williams (Swansea City)
    During his time as a scholar at Swansea and particularly so in the second year of it last season, Daniel gained a good deal of praise from many who watched his performances in games played by the U-18 team. Their decision to offer him a professional contract in order to continue his employment at the club was therefore not surprising. As a result, he is a member of the U-23 squad this season, but after being involved in games during the first couple of months he was sidelined for the remainder of 2019 and beyond by an injury. Recovering and returning to full fitness, it was good to see his very recent return to playing for the U-23 team again. Although he attended training camps as a schoolboy and was requested to be on standby for the U-17 squad, the first instance for Daniel to represent Wales in a competitive international, came in the early weeks of this season when selected in a couple of U-19 squads as they played matches in preparation for the UEFA qualification tournament. Unfortunately, it was in the second series of games that he picked up the injury. Now he is back in competitive action, his aim will be to build on what he has already achieved.
    - John Jones.

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    Posted: Monday 2nd March 2020
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