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       Latest Young guns blog by John Jones

    Final blog of the 2019/2020 season

    We would be grateful for any assistance with names and information for next season, to get in touch - Diolch - Click here

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  • The time has arrived for me to write this final blog before taking a break. We are of course in an unprecedented situation at this time, one that has created havoc with everything including football. One of the things I will do is present my review of the season and I will basically look at it up to the point where football was stopped.

    I have presented a long list of names over the last nine months or so, trying to provide some details about their careers in football. I do admit that in many cases the information I have about many of the players is limited and can understand if there is a frustration about much of the content I provide. My hope is that some amount of what I have written has been relatively enjoyable to read and possibly been useful at times. Although my literary skills can be best described as average, I do get enjoyment when writing, the challenge of doing so as well as possible is generally a pleasant task. All these young men that I mention over the weeks, certainly have achievements that deserve for me to give my utmost as I try to describe what they are.

    Undoubtedly the most important criteria for Wales fans as the season began, was for the senior team to have a successful conclusion to the qualifying campaign and thereby secure a place amongst the finalists for Euro 2020. They duly obliged and a strong performance in the final game had the fans enjoying increasing levels of excitement as most of the second half minutes ticked towards the end of the match. A mighty roar of celebration ensued at the final whistle as the tension created by previous results could finally be discounted. The average age of both the team and squad has lowered significantly in recent times and their reaction to the pressure of needing those last couple of positive results was worthy of celebration. It is a little unfortunate that there now comes a wait before we can witness what follows.

    Some of the young guns have already established regular selection for the senior squad and have contributed not only in reducing the average age but also in obtaining those good results that has us fans enthusiastic about the future. It was not only the senior team which gained qualification success during the season, the U-17 and U-19 teams also progressed after competing in the preliminary round of their respective competitions. Some notable results were achieved by all the age group sides during the season, providing a reason for one to hold a reasonably optimistic view. The quality of the young players introduced into the senior team has certainly had a positive effect. Sustaining this trend is an important factor in maintaining or possibly even improving the strength of the senior squad. I believe that it is not unreasonable to anticipate that it may happen. It does seem that there are quite a few more contenders also developing their skills to a level that may have them gaining increased consideration in the months ahead. Much of the assumption is based on the progress they are making, as they successfully cope with the challenge of being placed in accelerated phases of the development programmes at their respective clubs. The excellent national development programme also seems to be helpful preparation in guiding these youngsters before they start their careers in fulltime football. Such things could not of course happen without being talented enough to cope with such circumstances and as fans our hope is that the Wales team can prosper with the quality that is apparently available. 

    I think that it is quite obvious that my general feeling about the prospects for the Wales senior team are very much of a positive nature. At this time however, it is impossible to comment without also acknowledging the effects of the present crisis. What the outcome will be, is very much an unknown in terms of what I could add to any debate that may arise. It has of course created what can only be described as monumental changes along with the need for adaptation to circumstances as we go forward. We can at best hope that the detrimental effects can somehow be minimized as much as possible and a return to something we can regard as normal is achieved sooner rather than later. Uncertainty does seem to be the most appropriate word one can use to relate to future football events. Decisions of the present, as the attempt to return to football games being played, are understandably cautionary. It is, of course, necessary to proceed in such a way and a stepwise procedure that must be used before any relaxation toward that previously mentioned normal circumstances will probably be slower than we would like it to be.

    As I try to assemble my thoughts and present them in this blog, it has generally been an unsatisfactory process with quite a few revisions as I have been trying to construct it. The intent has been to provide some reflections on the season and share my perspective on what we can possibly anticipate in the future. Ideally, the narrative would flow in an orderly manner, but the limitations of my ability prevent me from doing so. I therefore continue in a disjointed manner and apologize for it being so.

    Our shared passion as visitors to the dragon soccer website is the interest in information about Wales football teams and its associated players. What my hope and I believe it also a shared one, is to witness them being successful. Undoubtedly, the most prominent in our thoughts is the Wales senior team and is the source that gives us the most satisfaction when it does well. It is the ambition of all the young guns that I mentioned in the preceding weeks and months to become members of the senior squad for a portion of their careers. It will only be relatively few of them that will reach that lofty position they aspire. That does not make them any less important to mention in my opinion. The quality of their talent is not in question, to represent the nation at any level is an achievement worthy of praise. They are the few from all those little boys who started competing in football games with a mindset of expectation to become accomplished players. That same process, continues on, leaving just the very few that make it all the way to senior international football. I have probably overused the words dedication and determination causing some annoyance of repetitiveness in my descriptions of careers, but I do so to stress the necessity of having an abundance of those qualities to gain success.

    As I complete this offering, I extend my best regards to all of you.

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    page originally posted: Sun, 7 Jun 20 refresh for updates

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ] 

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    Posted: Sunday 7th June 2020
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