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YOUNG GUNS BLOG


page originally posted : Fri, 20 Mar 20
Young Guns






Reuben Duncan (Millwall)
In his first season as a fulltime professional at the club, Reuben seems to be continuing in making a very positive impression on the Millwall coaching staff. Now a member of the U-23 squad, he has appeared in all the games they have played this season, starting in all but one of them. The team have been very successful up to the present pause in proceedings, very much in contention to be winners of their section of the league if a resumption is sanctioned once the present crisis abates. Reuben earned his present contract after the completion of his time as a scholar at The Den, during which, he was a regular member of the U-18 team. Contributing a good number of goals in both of his seasons as a youth player, it certainly added a bonus to his main role of creating chances as a midfield player. His main emphasis as he looks to the future will be to experience first team involvement and as for many young players it may come through an arrangement for a loan period. As we all know, things can change quickly in football circumstances, even in normal times. Now we must wait for something resembling normal times before any future decisions become relevant.

Ben Erickson (Swansea City)
In the review of Benís career that I presented last season I was rather vague in my knowledge of his lack of appearances for the Swansea U-18 team excepting to being aware of some amount of injury issues. Shortly after it was posted, we were extremely grateful to receive correspondence from his mother to enlighten us as to the extent of his unavailability to the team. It had certainly been a torrid time for him, it required surgery, accompanied by extremely lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods. Better informed, it was very pleasing to note that as last season came to an end, Swansea had extended his scholar contract for another season providing for him a chance to overcome so much disruption. It was good to see his name returning to Swansea lineups at the start of the season but unfortunately not for long, as injury again intervened. He returned to full fitness a few weeks ago and was again playing for Swansea teams when the present suspension of activities occurred. A far from ideal situation in his bid to continue a career in professional football, but we can maybe extrapolate some positives. The Swansea coaching staff must have a high opinion of his ability and skills in order to have retained his services for this season. There can also be no doubt that his dedication and determination are of the highest quality as he has combated these various injuries. We certainly wish him well, confident that he has a mindset that will help him succeed in whatever direction the future takes him.
A short addendum at this point. As probably many of you have previously realized, my information about these young men I write about, is limited and based on my observations. It is always greatly appreciated whenever someone makes the effort to help me get better informed.

Iestyn Hughes (Manchester United)
A first year scholar at the Old Trafford club, Iestyn has made quite a few appearances for the U-18 team, mostly coming off the bench when doing so. It is not at all surprising that at clubs such as United, who are able to assemble large and high quality youth squads, that first year scholars find difficulty in becoming regular performers in the U-18 team, as is the case with Iestyn. A much better opportunity will likely present itself next season, the experience and development gained during this season will be very helpful. His skills are obviously of a high quality as we can infer from the involvement he has had with Welsh international teams over the years. He has represented the nation as a schoolboy, being part of the squad that competed in the Victory Shield competition a couple of seasons ago. He then continued by playing in several matches for the U-17 team and this season was called up into the U-19 squad, making important contributions in the games that resulted in the team successfully progressing to Elite qualification stages of the tournament. As with all else, those matches are now at least postponed and there is probably a distinct possibility this seasonís tournament may not get completed. With his birth year occurring in 2002, Iestyn will retain an eligibility for the Wales U-19 team next season.

Callum Pearson (Bristol City)
I alluded to doing this presentation about Callum earlier in the season, when briefly mentioning his name at the time of discussing his twin brother Sam. Both are scholars with Bristol City and with meaning no disrespect at all to Callum, I think it can be agreed that Sam has received the majority of plaudits as their careers have progressed. What we have is, twin brothers who are both high quality footballers. At this time, one is slightly ahead of the other in terms of achievement. There is, indeed, plenty of praise that can also be attributed to the progress Callum has made, as they navigate the path of developing a successful career in football. He has played on a regular basis for the clubís U-18 team along with making a substantial number of appearances for the U-23ís during these last two seasons of his scholar tenure. He is also responsible for a part of the family collection of Wales caps, received for playing in the national U-17 team taking part in qualifying tournament for the 2017/18 UEFA championships. Sam was selected for that squad taking part in the tournament but was unavailable when it occurred. It would have presented a unique situation had they played in the same game. There are quite a few examples of brothers playing in Wales teams, but as far as I am aware, not of twins doing so.

Hopefully, the battle to overcome these present circumstances can be successfully concluded in the coming weeks. In the meantime, my good wishes to you all.  - John Jones

[photo embedded from FAW Cymru ]
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Posted: Friday 20th March 2020
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