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Young Guns update

 

Young Guns by John Jones.
                                                          
Jack Challis (Bristol City)
Jack progressed through the youth system at Birmingham City and was offered a short term contract as the club tried to decide whether to sign him on a full time professional deal. His response was to accept a counter offer from Bristol City where he has been a regular member of their U-23 development team through the first quarter of the season. He has also been a regular member of the various Wales age group sides and is at present anticipating making an important contribution to the Wales U-19 side in the upcoming November qualifying tournament. Returning to his involvement with Bristol City, he is amongst a contingent of Welsh qualified players that when all are selected, they make up half of the outfield players in the U-23 team.

Keston Davies (Swansea City)
Keston has been at Swansea for a good number of years and now as a member of their U-23 team, continues the history of captaining the sides he has been involved with. He has also been involved with the various Wales teams as he has moved through the years, but has not as yet been selected for the U-21 squad. He does have time on his side as he will still be eligible for their next 2-year qualification campaign which starts in 2017. The possible scenario for Keston in the months ahead is a loan period in order for him to get acclimatized with first team football and which then would be a determinant in his future career.

Ryan Harrington (Everton)
Now in his last season of eligibility for youth football, Ryan has been associated with Everton for a good few years as he progressed through the various levels of schoolboy football. Accepting scholarship terms at the club as the next step from there, he has been constantly involved in the U-18 team plans during that time, catching the eye of a good judge of talent as he represented Wales at U-17 level along the way. At some point during the progression of the season comes a decision by the Everton staff as to whether he will be offered a professional contract at the club. Although by no means a guarantee of whether a successful footballing career is going to be established, it is nevertheless an important step in the process. It gives the opportunity to work hard and compete at the next level in the journey toward first team football, which is the goal of every player. This is another point in which attrition occurs, and only the best can continue forward in search of their dream.

Tom James (Cardiff City)
Tom is a player with a Premier League appearance on his resume, it was as a very late substitute in Cardiff’s final game before relegation a couple of seasons ago. This does however give some indication of his capability and though it is his only first team appearance in league football, he has been involved in pre-season games. It does seem as though it is only a matter of time before he adds to that sole involvement and may well have done so by now under some different circumstances. His Premier League cameo was certainly not a token gesture, he had earned the selection through impressive displays at U-18 and U-21 club levels at that period in his career. Some untimely injuries in the subsequent time have not helped his cause, but the most probable reason is the lack of continuity in management at the club. It is understandable that it has been something of a revolving door for managers at the club as the inability of the team to perform anywhere near the level of ambition of regaining the Premier League status that was held for the briefest of periods has frustrated the ownership. It does however tend to severely restrict the opportunities of younger players as the general philosophy is a reliance on experienced players as the ones believed best suited to correct the deficiencies. Hopefully Tom will earn another chance before too long, although he is again faced with trying to impress another new manager in the weeks ahead.

Tom Lowery (Crewe Alexandra)
In surely what will be regarded as a significant week in Tom’s life came the moment in which he made his first team debut at the club when introduced as a substitute in their midweek Efl Trophy match. Obviously a successful outcome in the proceedings followed as he not only retained his place in the squad, but was again introduced as a substitute in this week’s league match and played his part in what was considered a very satisfactory display by the team. Although Tom has not represented Wales thus far, he was involved as part of the Wales schoolboy training camp a couple of years ago and may be one to keep an eye on if he keeps apace with the development of his skills. He has been with Crewe since his early schoolboy days and impressed as he progressed through his scholarship time, continuing as he began full time professional football this season. Wishing him the very best with what follows on from what must have been a very dedicated and determined effort to get him to this point in his life.

Connor Roberts (Swansea City – on loan with Bristol Rovers)
Just a brief mention to add on to what was written about Connor a few weeks ago. He finally made his first appearance for his loan club last weekend having had to bide his time as the defensive unit at the club performed satisfactorily. Undoubtedly recruited to provide an added depth to the team, it was somewhat of a case of having to wait his turn as the Rovers team showed a good capability of staying amongst the leading group of clubs in League One. Hopefully there will be plenty of further opportunities for Connor to build on his successes of last season.


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Posted: Tuesday 11th October 2016
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