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    Young Guns Blog index


    Young Guns Blog by John Jones

    page updated: Fri, 4 Nov 22 : 16:14 :  refresh for updates

    To read all last season blog posts scroll through posts on the young guns page

    Matthew Baker (Stoke City) born 2003, Defender.
    An academy player and then a scholar with Gillingham, after successful trials, Matt signed for Stoke when his time with the Gills had ended. He became a member of the Potters U-23 squad last season and played in over half of that team’s games as he successfully settled in his new football environment. He has continued to build on it this season and has not only played regularly for the U-21 team but has also been selected in the first team squad, making a couple of bench appearances for September league games. He will certainly be hoping for more opportunities as the season progresses along with making his debut at senior level. Matt has acquired a notable collection of Wales caps over the years, starting out doing so with the U-15’s and then U-16, U-17, U-19 and U-21’s. He would have a full collection of intermediate level ones but for having to withdraw from the U-18 squad he was selected for, the season before last. He has also captained the national teams he has played for on numerous occasions.

    Eddie Beach (Chelsea) born 2003, Goalkeeper.
    Progressing through the Southampton academy, Eddie became a scholar at the club two seasons ago. His first season involvement with the U-18 team consisted of many bench appearances but no playing time assignments, a statistic that was rectified last season when he became the first choice goalkeeper for the team and played in almost three quarters of their games. His ability to provide quality performances was not only appreciated by the Saints coaching staff but also noticed by the Chelsea scouts and recruiters, and so negotiations took place in the summer for Eddie to be transferred to the London club. He has become a member of the U-21 squad and has not disappointed management at his new club, providing them with  high quality displays as the last line of defence for the team. Eddie first came to the notice of us fans of the intermediate teams when selected for the U-18 squad in the 2020/21 season. He was however unavailable to report for duty when the squad assembled. Last season, he was regularly selected and played for the U-19’s and this season was a member of the U-21 squad that played a friendly game, although his appearance was on the bench.

    Tom Davies (Cardiff City) born 2003, Defender.
    After joining the Cardiff academy as a fourteen year old, Tom became a scholar at the club at the start of the 2020/2021 season and played in almost all of the U-18 team’s games. As he began his second year as a scholar, Tom had his most significant moment at Cardiff so far when making his first team debut in a first round Carabao Cup game and received praise for a competent performance. It is his only involvement with the first team, as he then continued playing for the U-18’s and the U-23’s. It was a season disrupted by some injury issues and this somewhat delayed his progress. This season, he has played regularly for the U-21’s and will be doing his utmost to impress and push toward another first team assignment. Tom first played for Wales when doing so for the U-18 team two seasons ago and then collected some more caps with the U-19’s last season.

    Ryan Howley (Coventry City) born 2003, Midfielder.
    Joining the Coventry academy as a youngster, Ryan then became a scholar at the club two seasons ago and played regularly for the U-18 team, having been introduced to competition at that level the previous season. He also made a couple of appearances for the U-23 team and had impressed enough to be selected for the first team in their Carabao Cup tie at the start of last season. Playing regularly for the U-23 team was interspersed with double digit bench time selections for the first team in league games, making his debut at that level with an introduction for the last few minutes of a late season game. After being involved in Wales training camps as a youngster, Ryan made his national debut playing for the U-19’s last season and then was a late game introduction when playing for the U-21 side earlier this season.

    James Sweet (Arsenal) born 2003, Midfielder.
    A first year professional with the Gunners this season, James completed his time as a scholar with the club last season after previously being attached to their academy teams. In his first season in fulltime football, he only played eight times for the U-18 team, but last season he played in almost all of their games, performing in a manner that persuaded management to retain his services for the U-21 squad. He has confirmed their opinion by playing in most of that team’s games this season including getting experience of men’s football with appearances in the Papa John’s Trophy matches. Primarily regarded as a midfielder, James also has sufficient defensive skills that have persuaded the coaching staff to utilize successfully him as a wing back this season and is also versatile enough to play out wide further forward if required. His aim now will be to perform with the quality that earns him a chance to get involved with the Arsenal first team in other cup competitions as is apt to happen at the club. There is of course abundant likewise competition with intent at the same goal. James played for Wales as an U-15 and U-16 international and was then selected by England to be a member of their U-17 squad. He has then played for the Wales U-19 team last season and was in the extended U-21 squad that attended a training camp a few weeks ago.

    Lewys Twamley (Newport County – on loan at Pontypridd United)
    Now in his second season as a fulltime professional with Newport, Lewys has been loaned out to Cymru Premier side Pontypridd United and is gaining good first team experience having played in all of their games to this point. It has been an important step for a good number of others in the past, as their careers developed in a positive manner after spending a period of time in the league. Hopefully it will be similarly so for Lewys. He has played first team football at his parent club, doing so initially when a second year scholar in the 2020/21 season and playing in three Papa John’s Trophy games. Last season he was introduced as a substitute for a match in the same competition and was on the bench for another. His good form in the 2020/21 season provided Lewys his first opportunity to be involved with Wales teams when he played for the U-18’s. Last season he played in a couple of games for the U-19’s.

    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]

    Posted: Friday 4th November 2022
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