Tomorrow (Thursday, September 21 2017), three of our talented Park Hall youngsters will be part of the Wales U18 Academy representative team squad, as the north take on the south in a trial game.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Aron Hughes-Jones – who is currently on loan at Caersws – Lewis Dutton, Callum Jones and James Parry will proudly represent not only Wales but also The New Saints.
As a club we wish them all the very best in the game, which will be played at Latham Park, the home of Newtown AFC.
Lewis is one of our keepers at Park Hall and his impressive displays have caught the expert eye of our own goalkeepers’ coach, Graeme Classon.
Part of the backroom staff, Graeme commented, “I’m honoured to be given the role and really looking forward to representing Wales over the course of my involvement. Thanks to Mark and Evo (Steve Evans) for the opportunity and the club for supporting my involvement.”
Our assistant manager Steve Evans, a full Wales international himself, is involved with the Academy set-up as assistant to Mark Pike. We caught up with him earlier today to get his thoughts.
“It’s a great opportunity for the players involved,” he enthused, as he then went on to give some behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of the Wales Academy. “This year sees a new system in place, where we will see a lot more players and have a bigger pool to pick from for the national squad to face Ireland.”
Back to the match tomorrow, he explained the importance of the fixture, not only for the players but also the management team. “The regional game gives a chance for the respective coaches to find the best players from the north and south. Then Mark Pike and I will pick players for our training camps.”
“That gives us the chance to have more contact with the individuals and the chance to pick the best possible squad available to us. It’s a very exciting time not only for the players but also for us as coaches.”
As a club we are not only proud of the youngsters who have been called-up for the game but also the commitment of Steve and Graeme as well. It is an honour to have input and involvement in the national game in Wales.