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    Young Guns update


    Young Guns by John Jones.

    Jordan Davies (Brighton and Hove Albion)
    Jordan seems to have settled in well to life at the Amex Stadium and is a regular member of the U-23 team as was expected. Though it is difficult to get a great deal of news of the matches played by the team, he does get some mentions in the website reports about making good contributions and so maybe one can surmise that he is coping with the demands of the matches at that level. It should also be a benefit for him to be involved in the training sessions conducted at the club, especially as it is likely to be carried out in the company of good quality Championship players and giving him an indication of the qualities he needs to possess in order to be included in any first team consideration. Past deliberations amongst some of those coaching and watching him have purported his ability as being potentially that of a player who could thrive at Championship or possibly Premiership level. Now, he has the opportunity to prove those opinions were correct as he continues to gain experience over the next few weeks, have a short break and be ready for the pre-season preparation challenges. Although there is still enough of the season remaining for some changes to occur, it does seem that Brighton are on course for a return to the top division, their first time to be there in the Premier League era. If promotion is achieved, they will almost surely reinforce the team with some high quality recruitments and so giving Jordan the possibility of training in some elite company if he can impress enough to be included in the first team pool. 

    Tom Lawrence and Ben Woodburn
    I think everyone should be very familiar with the club status of these two young men and so I have saved my fingers a little bit of typing by omitting that part of their introduction. I have them paired in order to offer congratulations to both of them as being the young guns selected for the senior squad. It was of no surprise to me and almost certainly to all of you that they were included, using the words of Chris Coleman that all 23 were chosen on merit is a comment that I believe cannot be queried with a feasible argument. Tom, to my delight, has of course been in good goal scoring form over the last number of weeks, something that I had alluded to in previous comments on his progress that he had not quite been able to transfer that part of his game into first team football in the same manner he had done during time as a youth and development player. Now, I must apologize for not having the patience for it to materialize. It certainly does give Wales another potential threat in the goal scoring department, confidence is very much part of the skillset of a striker or an attacking midfielder in this case, one that carries over from one game to the next. The selection of Ben has ensured that the media frenzy that preceded has continued. Given this platform to express my opinion, I pronounce myself guilty of adding fuel to it. Hopefully, I am challenging myself to try and provide a perspective that perhaps has not been addressed. Some sympathy can be offered to the England fans, although this comment can only be evaluated fully many years in the future, it does seem as though the England team may have lost a gem that would certainly help them if it proves to be so. The implied words that Wales have seemingly acted in an unsporting way to lure him from England is not correct. Enough has already been discussed about that, so I will leave it there. What I will offer is a thought as to why it developed as it has. Wales identified his talent at schoolboy level prior to England doing so, maybe there was even little or no English interest in his potential at that level. It is understandable how it could happen as England do have a far greater number of boys to evaluate as they narrow the process toward a squad selection. It has always been a fact that there is a high attrition rate, even amongst those considered the brightest of prospects, in the transition from schoolboy international contenders to any form of a professional football career. Concentrating on the Welsh aspect of things, I believe that fans can be very encouraged that the system in place has significantly reduced this statistic in recent years. Acknowledging the work done in achieving this by those involved is deserving of recognition and an offer of congratulations for a job well done. Just something to consider for our English friends who may feel aggrieved, this has not been a one way occurrence in years past. Rob Jones, a Wrexham born player made numerous England appearances, probably would have made more if his career had not been cut short by injury. This was at a time when the Wales team would have benefitted from his presence and though there was much disappointment, there was no outcry. To Robís credit, he made it clear that despite his birthplace, his sentiments were solely for England. In that time, chances for international success seemed much stronger for England but now that things are more even, when others gain an advantage at what they perceive as at their expense, perhaps the fans feel even more threatened. I have strived for brevity rather than an expanse of words, at least within my limited capability of doing such a thing. Hopefully what I have expressed is still readable and understandable. There concludes my sermon as it were.

    Liam Shepherd (Swansea City Ė on loan at Yeovil Town)
    It is an appropriate time to include a further update on Liam in this current version of the young guns blog. This past week he was one of Yeovilís goal scorers, his initial one when involved in first team football and we offer our congratulations to him for doing so. This is by no means the only reason for his inclusion as he is having a good season during his loan spell at Huish Park and that is also worthy of recognition. He has played in the vast majority of the Glovers matches and I believe that I am correct in saying his absences from the team were a result of being unavailable through injury. I have to be honest and say that I have not read that many team reports, but the ones that I have, generally indicated that Liam was playing well. His present contract at Swansea expires this summer and it is not known if an extension is to be offered. If not, I am confident that there will be plenty of suitors for his signature and so giving him the opportunity of remaining in the full time professional community for some further seasons.

    Latest News
    As I was almost to completion on this effort to provide some information, news emerged that Tom Lawerence was injured and consequently withdrawn from the Wales squad. We therefore offer some further congratulations to his replacement, young gun Harry Wilson.

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    Posted: Wednesday 22nd March 2017
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