Joel Cotterill | I must keep pushing and proving my worth
Young midfielder Joel Cotterill knows he must continue to perform consistently whenever he makes the step-up to Swansea City’s under-18s side.
The 16-year-old, who has been with the Swans since he was seven, has been a regular feature for the under-18s this season and will hope to be involved in today's Professional Development League South clash with Colchester United at Landore.
Despite playing up an age group, an undeterred Cotterill has impressed in recent weeks with some commanding performances and driving runs from the middle of the park.
He was on target from the penalty spot in the victory over Queens Park Rangers at the end of February, while also finding the net in Tuesday’s 4-4 draw with Millwall.
The cousin of former Swans winger David, the central midfielder has also been sporadically involved with the under-23s – for whom he made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Reading in February 2020.
And he is hoping his performances will lead to him earning further opportunities with the development side over the remainder of the campaign.
“I’ve been at the club for nine years now and, for the majority of that time, I’ve played up an age group,” he said.
“I’ve just got to go for it and play with confidence; that’s how you’re going to get far.
“I must keep pushing and prove why I’m in the under-18s squad and getting minutes.
“I’ve got to try and be the best I can be between now and the end of the season.
“My aim is to push towards getting a few starts for the under-23s.”
Cotterill has also demonstrated his versatility during his time at the club.
Having joined as a striker when he was seven years old, he is also capable of playing anywhere across the centre of midfield.
In recent weeks, the schoolboy has operated effectively in a holding role and he believes his adaptability will be crucial in his quest to progress through the ranks.
“It’s good to be able to play in different positions,” he explained.
“For the first two years, I played up front then after that, I played as a number 10.
“Since rejoining the under-18s, I’ve played as a number four because they think I’m good at dictating the play, getting on the ball and driving us forward.
“If you make it to the top and the gaffer asks you to play in a certain position, you can’t say no.
“It’s good to have different positions that you’re comfortable with and even if you’re not, you’ve just got to deal with it.”