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New Scotland eligible striker ready and waiting for the nod from Michael Duff
Tuesday, 31st Oct 2023 08:00 by Keith Haynes

On loan DC United forward Kristian Fletcher has all the confidence in the world and as he has shown already he has a keen eye for goal. Eligible to play for Scotland, Kristian holds a UK passport which made his loan signing which brought him to Swansea so much easier in September.

Having just turned eighteen Kristian has announced himself on the U21 squad already with goals in the Welsh League Cup, and coming on as a left wing substitute for the age grade side in the win against Cardiff City. He then bagged two goals in the next round against Briton Ferry Llansawel in a 6-0 drubbing of the their near neighbours on the banks of the River Neath. The interest in this competition saw in excess of eight hundred Swans fans at that game.

Kristian has added to his two goals in the cup - with two against Hull City and another two against Brighton. Speculation is that the youngster will be training temporarily with the first team squad this week so head coach Michael Duff can see him at close quarters. “We need to see more of him” Duff said. “I’ve seen him play a couple of times in the twenty one’s. He’s supposed to have trained with us twice already, but he was injured for a couple of weeks. Then the twenty one’s had Covid, so there’s been circumstances meaning he hasn’t been able to. But we want to get eyes on him. He’s come in and he’s settled. He’s a young man coming from a different country. So let him be and let him settle. His performances have been good. The next part is to look at him in a first-team environment. But where he’s come from it doesn’t mean he’s automatically going to get a contract. He has to be good enough. He has to be better than what we got”

That’s a big ask if a professional contract is considered. Being in the first team squad means he has to match up to Jerry Yates, Liam Cullen and Mykola Kukharevych, all of whom have found the net this season. Then there’s the enigmatic Jamal Lowe who is firing on all cylinders as well. In fact even getting near any first team inclusion would be a huge vote of confidence. If that does happen you can bet your ‘bottom dollar’ he will be very close to signing professional terms. Kristian isn’t phased. “I came in and, obviously I was a bit nervous in the first training session and so anything that comes with kind of playing in Europe, but as soon as you get on the field, all the nerves go away. I've always been a very confident person. So that was it wasn't hard for me to gain that while playing… My first game it was against a decent team, it was a hard fought game and I knew I can leave a mark. And then from kind of setting that bar for myself in the first game, all I've been really trying to do is build on it.”

Even at his young age ( born in 2005 ) Fletcher knows where he needs to be plying his trade, and it isn’t in the USA. “I had to prepare for things like this. I can't use age as an excuse or whatever. I have some goals in my career that I want to reach and in order to reach some of them, I need to be playing in Europe. I was very, very excited for it and happy for it. I'm back playing again, so I'm able to show people what I can do and show myself what I can do.”

Well, for the time being Kristian is proving to himself, the Swans and everyone who knows him just exactly what he is about. And if he can turn Michael Duff’s head you just never know. Even if he has just turned eighteen.

Kristian Fletcher was talking to American Soccer Now. Research by Liam Walters.

Photographs with permission Swansea City AFC & Open Source

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