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    Young Guns Blog index

    WELSH FOOTBALL YOUTH : YOUNG GUNS BLOG

      
        Young Guns Blog by John Jones



    page updated: Fri, 5 Nov 21 : 05:30  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.
    As a schoolboy Matthew was affiliated with Gillingham and became a scholar at the club at the start of the 2019/20 season. He played regularly for their U-18 team for the last two seasons as well as playing in some games for their older development team during that time. Prior to the start of his second year as a scholar Matt was in the first team group for some of the pre-season training and matches but no further involvement at that level occurred after that time. At the end of last season, he was out of contract, but it was a situation that did not last long as Stoke quickly stepped in and offered him one. He is now a member of the U-23 squad with the Potters and has played in a handful of games for them. He will be hoping to consolidate his value in that team and push toward a possible first team consideration in the future. Matt captained the Wales U-19 team that played their European Championship qualification matches last month, having previously been captain at U-17 level as well. It continues his lengthy association with Wales teams having also represented the nation as a schoolboy.

    Caleb Hughes (Cardiff City) born 2003, Midfielder.
    Now in his second year as a scholar with Cardiff, Caleb has been a constant selection in the matches played by the U-18 team this season. He also played regularly for the team last season and has contributed goals along with his general midfield play. He has made one appearance off the bench for the U-23 team and will be trying to increase his involvement at that level as the season goes along. Cardiff has a large and good quality professional development squad and so it will be a task to secure playing time, however Caleb has exhibited his competence at youth level, and it is the challenge facing him if he is to be retained by the club beyond the end of this season. At international level, Caleb played in the 2017 Cymru Cup matches and then for Wales U-17’s in the 2019/20 season. He was also selected for the U-19’s that competed in last month’s qualification tournament.

    Harry Jones (Swansea City) born 2003, Midfielder.
    As a schoolboy, Harry was a member of Arsenal’s academy teams but was not offered the opportunity to become a scholar at the club. He therefore moved on to join Swansea at the start of last season, playing much more often for the club’s U-23 team than their U-18’s. He impressed the management team with his performances and prior to the start of this season signed a two year professional contract with the club. He will now want to consolidate his position in the U-23 team and improve his abilities to a level where he can press his claims as a possible candidate for the first team. Harry played for the Wales schoolboy teams and was a member of the 2018/19 Victory Shield squad. He then continued his international representation at U-17 level, also as a member of this season’s U-19 squad.

    Jadan Raymond (Crystal Palace) born 2003, Midfielder.

    Representing Wales, initially at U-15 level and then as a member of the 2018/19 Victory Shield squad, Jadan’s impressive displays prompted the England youth coaching staff to recruit him to become a member of their U-17 squad. Affiliated with the Palace academy teams for close to ten years, he has been highly regarded by the staff at the club and unsurprisingly they signed him to a professional contract after he reached his seventeenth birthday last year. Injury however severely curtailed his availability last season and so it is good to see him playing regularly for the club’s U-18 team this season. An attack minded midfielder, he has been in good scoring form for the team and will be hoping that he can earn an opportunity to be challenged at the next level of development with selection for the U-23 team. This season has also seen the return of Jadan to the Wales underage teams as a member of the U-19 squad.

    Callum Wood (Bristol City ¿" on loan at Bath City) born 2003, Defender.

    Moving from Hereford FC to join Cinderford Town at the start of the 2019/20 season, Callum soon caught the eye of scouts performing well as a very young player in their first team. Prompting interest from several clubs, Bristol City invited him to trial at the club and quickly decided to sign him last year. This season he is a member of the U-23 squad and has been loaned out to Bath City, playing for both teams when available. When the Wales coaching staff became aware of his eligibility, he was selected for an early season U-19 squad. He unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury at that time but was then able to earn his first caps when again selected for the squad that competed in last month’s tournament.

    This week, the players mentioned were members of the U-19 squad that played in the qualification matches for this season’s European Championships. They, along with the other players selected presented a roster that exhibited a potentially strong group of good quality performers at this age level. The results achieved a third place position in their group with four points collected from three games. With this stage of the tournament due to be finished later this month, the determination of who will progress to the elite stages of the competition has not been announced, but it is very unlikely that the Wales team will be included. It would have been of benefit to the players to have experienced further international competition, but their next step now will be to impress enough to warrant consideration for future U-21 squads.


    page posted  Fri, 5 Nov 21 : 05:30 :
    refresh for updates


    [ photo embedded from FAW cymru ]


    Posted: Friday 5th November 2021
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