Trials, Internationals, France And Spain – It’s All Systems Go For TNS Academy

We have started the season the way we aim to continue, writes Jason Brindley, with great experiences for our youngsters at The New Saints Football Club. Over the past couple of weeks we have been holding open Academy trials at Park Hall Stadium, the home of our Welsh Champions.

We are now in the secondary stages of trials, which are closed, as we look to start working closer with players and see them in fixtures before confirming our new squads.

We appreciate it is never an easy stage for young players, we aim to make them feel relaxed so they can express themselves and to give them a good opportunity to show us what they can do.

Callum Jones receives his international cap from Ryan Giggs

In the closed sessions this week, we have had an opportunity to start introducing potential new players to our TNS DNA, what makes a TNS player and also what a TNS player looks like, on and off the field.

We also welcomed West Bromwich Albion and former Wales international goalkeeper, Boaz Myhill, to The Venue. Boaz is completing his UEFA B Goalkeeper Licence through the FAW, working with our Under 16s age group.

Speaking of Welsh Internationals, it was a very proud moment for our youth system, but more importantly for one young man in particular. U19s player Callum Jones received his Welsh international cap from Wales’ manager Ryan Giggs.

Bon voyage!

Ryan presented Callum with his cap at The Racecourse in Wrexham, where the Welsh national team were holding an open training session in preparation for an upcoming fixture.

We are very proud of Callum. Cal joined the club in our Under 15s and I have worked closely with him during the past 3 seasons. He is technically very good and very driven. Earlier this season he made his first team debut at 16 years of age, and despite suffering a recent injury which has kept him out, he is often at the club working hard in the gym, such is his attitude and commitment to succeed.

Enjoying the French sun

Our U15s entered a tournament in France over the weekend (lead photograph). We have made some good contacts over the past couple of years and seem to be getting more and more invites, which is great for our football club and for our players. This tournament was a fully international one, with multiple nations participating.

It was a really good experience for our players, to face different football cultures. We like to expose our players to these types of situations, to see how they adapt. Being away with the squad is really good socially too. This corner of development can sometimes be overlooked.

The official photograph from France

It’s important to build players’ social skills. I have used multiple ways in the past, getting the players to do presentations, group tasks and discussions.

The U15s entered an U16 tournament and found the physicality a big challenge. They are a good group and we have high hopes that they will continue to develop next season, so to expose them to that sort of level of football was good to see how they react.

I know that coaches Kieran and Danny were full of praise for the way the players held themselves and remained true to our TNS DNA and playing style, even in difficult situations. I’m really pleased for the group and I know they all had a great time.

The group stages for the Jamon Cup

To finish the weekly report, and to talk of great experiences, not many will top this. The draw for the Jamon Cup 2018 has been made. The competition is held in Calamocha, Spain. The 10-man squad is departing on Friday 1st June for the two day tournament.

Our group includes Athletic Club De Bilboa and the legendary FC Barcelona. To face such top quality opposition is a once in a lifetime experience and we wish the boys and all the coaching team a fantastic time and a safe journey.


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