Academy coaches back international calls to aid player development

30th September 2022
Ben Lloyd and Joel Cotterill
Ben Lloyd and Joel Cotterill - Credit: FAW

Coaches Anthony Wright and Darren Davies have spoken of their pride at the number of Swansea City academy products who featured for the Wales' age-grade sides during the international break, and the role those experiences play in development.

The international break saw four young Swans feature for the Welsh Under-19 side in Ben Lloyd, Joel Cotterill, Kai Ludvigsen and Cameron Congreve. 

Seventeen-year-old Evan Watts was called up to the Wales Under-21s preparation camp in Bangor, north Wales alongside Josh Thomas, who went on to make his Wales Under-21 debut in a friendly against Austria. 

"It's a massive learning tool for the lads, and this is what we, as an academy, aim for," said Swansea City Under-21s' coach Anthony Wright.

"It's international football, so the players get the opportunity to go away and learn. The under-19s just played in an elite tournament up in north Wales as part of their European qualification campaign.

"Josh Thomas has been away with the under-21s for the first time. It's massive for their development and it'll give them a different outlook.

"They'll do things slightly different to what we do. Everyone has different identities of how they play and how they implement styles of play.

"It's a huge learning curve. It's a different environment, new players and new managers. It's only going to benefit us moving forward."

Evan Watts
Evan Watts - Credit: FAW

Elsewhere, Jada Mawongo was called up for Sri Lanka for a week-long camp in Qatar. The 18-year-old played 45 minutes in a goalless draw against Qatari Second Division side, Lusail City. 

Jacob Cook and Ewan Griffiths have joined up with the Wales Under-17s in France as they take on their hosts in two friendlies. Sam Parker had been named in the travelling squad, but misses out due to a strain sustained against Cardiff City that will keep him out for eight weeks.  

"It's great for us to have boys in the international set-up, especially a number of them away with Wales," said Swans under-18s'' coach Darren Davies.

"We had Jada who was away further afield in Qatar with Sri Lanka. It's been fantastic for them and it is fantastic for us as a team and as an academy."