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Young Guns update

 

Young Guns by John Jones.

Cian Harries and George Thomas (Coventry City)

Both of these young men started the season on quite a bright note, Cian in particular accumulating a number of plaudits in those early days. In the ever changing world of football, they find themselves out of the first team picture at the moment, the struggles of the team probably having some part in producing this scenario. The prerequisite for every manager is to find the winning formula for their team and when results are very much in a complete contrast to what pundits had forecasted, so the pressure is that much more intense and team sheet changes are inevitable. Both played their part in securing a good win for the club’s U-23 team a few days ago, Cian credited with an impressive performance and George undoubtedly so, his 2 goals the only ones the team scored. As the season progresses, they will almost surely have further opportunities to show they have the talent and determination to compete successfully at first team level.

Daniel James (Swansea City)

After a brief absence through injury, Daniel returned to the starting line-up for the Swansea U-23 team earlier this week. It was made doubly enjoyable for him to take part in a winning display and to be given the responsibility of taking a penalty, comfortably despatched past the opposition goalie to provide the winning margin. It has been quite a few weeks for Daniel as he was part of the Swansea first team squad that travelled to the USA and also made his debut appearance for the Wales U-21 team, adding a starting assignment for their next game and certainly not looking out of place amongst older and more experienced players. Undoubtedly, it is a big step from any other level of football into being competitive in the Premier League, but there is the need for Daniel or some of his peers to accomplish this in order for the Wales senior international team to remain at the high level it has recently attained. There is no reason to doubt that it is very possible for him, he has the talent and just needs to be prepared to use it effectively if given the chance.

Lee Lucas (Motherwell)
Lee is of course a couple of years beyond the age defined as the criteria of young guns that are usually included in these updates. It is a story believed worthy of its inclusion here and hopefully the reader agrees. There have been quite a few mentions for Lee in past versions of Young Guns. After a successful youth career at Swansea, he was offered and accepted the terms to become a full time professional at the club, progress toward first team involvement gathering pace as time went along, a debut in May 2011 the eventual result. A loan agreement for the second half of the following season and was given a very favourable review after his first game for Burton Albion. Unfortunately, this was his only appearance as injury prevented any further involvement. That has been pretty much the story for Lee ever since that time as he has been hampered by various injuries, a couple of games on loan at Cheltenham a couple of years ago his only first team experience. With his time at Swansea at an end, he was offered the opportunity to join Motherwell for their preseason preparation. The recognition of his quality accompanied the good impression he made with the club’s management and though there was a slight hiccup of another injury, thankfully it was a very short term one, so the signing of a six- month contract offer suited all parties for the present time. All concerned hope and believe that there will be the need for an extension to be agreed in the future, certainly Lee deserves the chance get his career moving in a positive direction.
    His name adds to the contingent of Welsh players north of the border. Wes Burns is gaining valuable experience as he regularly plays first team football at Aberdeen. Also at Pittordie is Dylan Thomas, now in his second season at the club and showing his value as captain of the U-20 side. James Thomas is another young gun who is a regular member of the game day squad at Ayr United. He has been loaned out for the season with them by his parent club Burnley who snapped him up in the summer following on from his release at Bolton.

Louis Thompson (Norwich City)
Now in his 3rd season at the club, Louis finally made his league debut for Norwich last weekend. In midweek he played the full game in the 3rd round of the EFL Cup, the same as he had done in his competitive debut for the club in the previous round. It was an enjoyable time for him and his teammates as they somewhat surprisingly won at Goodison Park, he will most likely keep his place as they contest with Leeds for a quarter final spot next month. This is by no means the only first team football Louis has experienced over the last couple of seasons, the terms of his transfer from Swindon in the summer of 2014 arranged for a season long loan to his former club. An injury caused him to miss a good number of weeks in the second half of that season, causing a slight setback in his progress. Consequently, came another loan spell at the County ground last season with the same scenario of playing plenty of first team games. Even though Norwich do have a deep pool of talent available, it does seem as though Louis is very much included in the first team plans and he will hopefully gather more Championship football experience as the season moves along.

Clive Smith (Preston North End)
It was good to see Clive’s name in the squad as Preston overcame Bournemouth in the EFL Cup clash this week. He once again remained on the substitutes bench as that elusive first team debut is still awaited. He first came to prominence in first team involvement towards the end of the 2014/15 season and has been very much a part of preseason preparations for the past 2 occasions. Last season he was named as substitute a good number of times and shows that there is confidence that Clive must be ready to step in if required. It just happens that Preston are well served with experienced exponents in his position and the opportunity has not as yet presented itself. It was with some puzzlement that his name had been missing over the last few weeks with the club website not providing any news of injuries or reserve team games. With his 19th birthday still some weeks away, Clive has ample time on his side at the moment.


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Posted: Monday 26th September 2016
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