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Young guns blog update

 

Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

Rhys Abbruzzese (Cardiff City)
After a stellar career as a schoolboy, Rhys joined the club as a scholar and seemed to be moving along on a fast track toward being a player that would soon be considered somewhere near first team squad participation. Though I can offer no explanation other than it may well have been injury issues, this progress did noticeably reduce in pace over the last couple of seasons. It may well have been just a temporary hiccup as he is now firmly established in the U-23 team and will be anxious to try and become a candidate for the first team as quickly as possible. He was one of the number of players that performed with the Wales team at Toulon in the summer, showing that they could relatively easily handle the demands of U-20 international football competition. Almost certain to be a member of the national U-21 squad that will soon be playing qualification matches, the probability of being mentioned in future issues of the weekly blog is high.

Tom Lowery (Crewe Alexandra)
Last season, after singing a professional contract with the club at the end of his youth tenure, Tomís displays were earning him more and more first team playing time as it moved along. This practice was abruptly stopped when injury ruled him out for numerous weeks with him only returning to fitness at seasonís end. The clubís confidence in his ability however, saw him offered an extension on his deal with them and now he is back on first team duty again at the start of this season. Although Tom has not represented Wales at any level, he was included in a Wales training camp call up during his schoolboy days, thus I believe he is an eligible candidate. A continuation of regular games at League 2 level will surely be noticed by those evaluating the U-21 options and could result in selection, should he have an affinity to wear the colours of the Red Dragon nation.

Alex Penny (Peterborough United)
Alex was a schoolboy international player with Wales and moved on to become a scholar at his hometown club Hull City after those days. However, the offer of a professional contract was not forthcoming as he concluded that phase of his career, so non-league football was the next step for him. Steady and a quick progression through various playing levels he was involved in, has tempted Peterborough to bring him into the ranks of Football League players and he has already had some first team exposure in the limited time that he has been with them. Considered primarily a centre back also capable of operating at full back, I think I am correct in saying that he was used in a more forward role in his schoolboy days. Congratulations to him on his receipt of a full time professional contract and a salute to his perseverance, also wishing him all the best for the future.

Jamie Veale (Cardiff City)
A local lad who has been associated with Cardiff City football for many years. Starting as a schoolboy, moving on through the youth team and then the award of a full time professional contract a couple of years ago has seen Jamie outlast many of his peers who accompanied him on that process. Many of those had been regarded as having a higher expectancy of success at various points in their careers, but most are now out of the realms of professional football and moving along with their lives on other paths. It is an example of the difficulties encountered in the quest toward reaching the peak of any profession, football and sport in general being more taxing than most. It certainly does not belittle any of those that have failed at some point to overcome the obstacles needed to be hurdled to continue, it is a stiff task with disappointing conclusions, the result for so many. Jamie is a success story so far, now one of the more senior players in the U-23 team which he has captained on occasions. He has not represented his country at any level, an omission that could well change with a continuation in the progress that has seen him to this point in his club career.

Not many names presented to you this week as we are still very much in the earliest games of the season and it is a matter of waiting for possible patterns to emerge. Having said that, there are already hints for some encouragement for those of us keen to see Welsh qualified players do well. The first round of the Carabao Cup has seen the inclusion of a number of those young men in the matchday squads of various clubs. Most did remain on the bench, but even so, it is an indication that a reasonably strong possibility of first team football could be on the horizon for many of them. I am sure that all these young men will be addressed with some column time in the coming weeks.

In the next few days will come announcements of the U-21 and U-19 squad members as they will be preparing for matches in early September, soon after that the U-17 squad will also be selected for their fixtures later in the month. Though almost all the names in those lists will be familiar to those of that keep up with such statistics, it does seem that there will be some new ones as well. Players that I did not know about their Welsh eligibility have been mentioned as likely candidates for selection. 


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Posted: Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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