Alex Bray's chance to impress at Swansea City
16th July 2014
Youngster Alex Bray doesn't need to look far for inspiration as he bids to make the most of his time with the Swans squad during their American tour.
The 18-year-old winger was included in Garry Monk's squad for the two-game tour, which is currently in Milwaukee following a stay in Chicago.
The Swans face Mexican Premier League side Chivas Guadalajara today (Wednesday) before they take on NASL outfit Minnesota United on Saturday.
To be amongst the first team during training has already proved hugely beneficial for Bath-born Bray.
And he is using team-mate Ben Davies' success story as inspiration towards making the most his own opportunity Stateside.
Davies was part of the Swans' previous tour to America two years ago, impressing in the games before being handed his Premier League debut.
The unfortunate injury to Neil Taylor meant Davies had the chance to impress further.
The Wales international did just that, and Bray insists that has given him hope of taking his own big opportunity.
"I'd love for it to go the same way for me as it did for Ben. He was part of the pre-season squad in America two years ago and his career has really taken off," said Bray, who has been with the Swans for the past four years following his release from Swindon Town.
"Ben worked hard, had confidence in his ability and impressed enough to stay in the squad and play games regularly.
"Now he has a lot of Premier League and international games under his belt, and he's an established player now.
"It shows that young players can make the step up when given the opportunity, and that's very encouraging for players like myself."
Bray has spent his time picking up as much tips as possible from the senior members of the squad, with training sessions a particular learning curve.
And he already feels a better player for the experience.
"It's great for me to be amongst the squad," he added. "I have previously trained with the first-team squad, but not for a period like this.
"It's a totally different level to what I'm used to with the Under-21s, and it's a great learning experience for me. It also boosts my confidence a lot too being involved with top, top players.
"It's a great opportunity for me, and hopefully I'll do enough to impress the manager."