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    Young Guns Blog by John Jones.

    Lewis Clutton (Bristol Rovers)
    Lewis is a young man who has been regularly and successfully involved in the Bristol Rovers U-18 team since he started his tenure as a scholar with the club at the start of last season. In December came news that he sustained an injury during a game at that time with the indication that it was of a serious nature. I apologize that I cannot provide any other details than this, I have not been able to access any other news of his welfare if any has been published. Representation for Wales teams has occurred at schoolboy, U-17 and U-19 levels and so hopefully a recovery to full and fruitful fitness will occur giving him the opportunity to challenge as a candidate for national squad assignments in the future. Wishing him well.

    Reuben Duncan (Millwall)
    A second year scholar at The Den, Reuben is a regular member the clubís U-18 team both this and last season, chipping in with a reasonable share of goals from his advanced midfield role. During this time he has also been utilized in the matchday squads for the U-23 team from time to time. Reuben has not been selected for a Wales squad in any age group but was named on the standby list for the U-19 national squads that were announced last season. He seems to be doing well in his youth career so far and does have the possibility of a promising career ahead. Along with the multitude of others who are in a similar situation it will be a case of surviving the high attrition rate that all young players have to contend with and then working diligently on his game to attain continuous improvement. If all goes well we might well see Reubenís name published in a future Wales squad bulletin.

    Kieron Evans (Cardiff City)
    Though he played in a large portion of the Bluebirds U-18 team games last season, Kieron is actually in his first year as a scholar with the club. This season he has again been a regular member of the team although at times his availability has been restricted through some injury issues. Nevertheless, he has been impressive during his appearances, not only influencing games with his pace and trickery, but also adding to this with quite a good tally of goals to help the team in what has so far been a season with them perched atop of their league. He has been associated with the club since starting out with them during his days at primary school and his ambition must be to eventually secure a place in the senior team at his local club. When one views the credentials he seems to be presenting so far, the chances of him achieving this goal could certainly be a possibility. This would of course be a delightful outcome for those of us who are fans, very pleased when Welsh players have successful careers. 

    Jacob Jones (Swansea City)
    First year scholar Jacob has been a regular member of the Swansea U-18 team this season continuing on from having made more than a handful of appearances for them last season as a schoolboy associate at the club. That is not his only contribution to the Swansea cause, as he has also been involved with the U-23 team during some of their games. Quite a positive impression by someone who is very much at the start of being employed in football on a full time basis. Although selected for national training squads as a schoolboy, Jacob has not yet had representative honours for Wales. A continuation in the fashion performed in recent months could however quickly make such a fact obsolete. He will I am sure be conscious of the need to continually learn how to compete against increasingly difficult opponents along with a determination to refine his skills to become successful. Adding those assets to his game would surely see him selected for a national squad.

    Ioan Richards (Cheltenham Town)
    This season Ioan has amassed a good number of appearances for the Robinís U-18 team, a welcomed change of fortunes from his time as a first year scholar at the club last season. An injury at that time, severely restricted his availability for the team, this also delaying his opportunity to develop his skills on a full time basis. Very much considered a talented player by the staff at the club, his status as captain of the U-18 team an indication of those sentiments. He has of late, also been involved with the development team for older players at the club, a necessary step for him to make on a full time basis, if he is to continue his association with Cheltenham beyond the end of the current season. I am sure he has been relieved to have been relatively free from any injury issues of late, and hopefully the hard work he had to endure to regain full fitness and thrive in the competition he has been exposed to, can be rewarded with a developing career that will eventually see him employed as a full time professional footballer.

    Barney Soady (Bristol City)
    After having made a couple of appearances along with some bench assignments for the Bristol City U-18 team last season, Barney became eligible and joined the scholar ranks at the club prior to the start of this one. Over the last few months he has been utilized by the coaching staff not only as a frequent starter at youth level but also quite a few for the developmental team as well. Added to this are also a few substitute appearances for the U-18ís as well as the U-23ís. It is an impressive resume of achievement for a player who only celebrated his 17th birthday during the latter part of 2017. This is further enhanced by the fact that he is the recipient of a Wales cap, having played for the national U-19 team when used as a substitute for the friendly match played against the Republic of Ireland early in the season. Other than of course the Welsh clubs, Bristol City has by far the most Welsh youngsters affiliated to them, a group of promisingly talented players of which Barney is the one highlighted this week.

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    Posted: Wednesday 23rd January 2019
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