As a club we are immensely proud whenever any of our players – regardless of category – are called on for international duty. Imagine our great pleasure then, when six are recognised – with a further two on stand-by – by Wales (Academy U18s) for two upcoming fixtures against Republic of Ireland.
The games will take place on the 18th and 23rd of February in the Waterford area of Ireland. We asked Steve Benyon for a run-down on the players in question and you can read his thoughts below.
In addition, we are also proud of Steve Evans’ involvement with the Wales U-18s. A former international himself, his leadership qualities both on and off the pitch put him in a perfect position for the role.
It’s with immense pride, writes Steve Benyon, that on behalf of the professional phase, my coaches and players, I would like to congratulate the six boys and two stand-by players on their inclusion in the final FAW Under 18’s Academies Welsh squad.
Lewis Dutton has been an ever-present in goal and has continued to grow as a player, putting in consistent impressive performances for our Category 1 team on a Wednesday. Also, he has been challenging first team squad goalkeeper Aaron Jones on Sundays in the JD Welsh Premier Development League, as well as earning Shropshire County accolades.
James Parry was a late arrival to the training camps, but has impressed the coaches with his 1v1 defensive qualities and desire to attack. James has also trained numerous times this season with our first team and has been ever-present in our Category 1 and development team, as well as earning Shropshire County recognition.
CJ Craven has impressed the coaches with his tenacity and leadership within the centre of the park. CJ has also trained numerous times this season with our first team and has been another ever-present in our Category 1 and development team.
Callum Jones has also shown the coaches what he’s about with his quality on the ball and intelligence when in possession. Cal has also trained with our first team recently and has been a regular in our Category 1 and development teams.
Rob Reynolds has impressed with his work rate and willingness to run in behind opposition defences. Rob is another regular on the field and like the others has trained with the first team at Park Hall. He is currently the Phases’ leading marksmen with 30 goals in all competitions.
Tom Williams was a late arrival to the training camps due to recovering from injury but has impressed the coaches enough with his dribbling qualities and unpredictable play when attacking to make the squad. Tom is another who has had first team training experience as well as featuring regularly in the Development and Category 1 teams.
Liam Ihekwoaba and Dennis Bates are very unfortunate to just miss out on a squad place, but they both continue to develop and improve as a players. Both have been involved in training sessions with the first team as well as getting regular football with the Category 1 and Development sides.
We wish Mark (Pike), Evo (Steve Evans) and their staff and players all the best in Ireland.
Pob un o’r bechgyn gorau!