Jake Thomas buoyed by U23 breakthrough
Swansea City Under-18s defender Jake Thomas says he has taken plenty of confidence following his recent step-up to the under-23s side, as well as the chance to train with the first team at Fairwood.
The young centre-half broke into the development side at the end of September – making his debut in the 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The 17-year-old, who won the Swans’ Academy Player of the Year award in 2017, also played the full 90 minutes at the Hawthorns as the under-23s were beaten 2-0 by West Bromwich Albion.
He has also played in the showdowns with Manchester United and West Ham at Landore – taking his appearance tally with the development side for the season to four.
The second-year scholar, who has also played seven times for the under-18s this term, is hopeful his experiences will stand him in good stead upon his return to the academy side.
“It has been a very good experience for me coming up against better players at this level,” he said.
“It has given my confidence a huge boost.
“I was quite nervous at the start against Newcastle but, as the game went on, I gradually grew in confidence.
“These experiences will stand me in good stead.
“If I can perform well against more experienced players, I will feel a lot more confident against players my own age.”
Part of the academy set-up since under-13 level, Thomas also recently spent a week training with Steve Cooper’s first-team squad at Fairwood.
And having had that taster, it is no surprise that the Rhondda-born defender is hungry for more.
“That also gave me a lot of confidence,” he added.
“It’s great that I am being given these opportunities; it shows there is a clear pathway at the club.
“It’s just about trying to make the most of them whenever they come.
“I’ve just got to keep working and training hard to be the best I can.”