Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Swansea City : On the cusp in a very good way !
Saturday, 18th May 2024 15:13 by Keith Haynes

Two players who have come to Swansea City in the last two seasons from London clubs have earned a position on the clubs retained list this weekend. Both are considered exceptional talents by the Swans academy, and their dream remains alive to become full professional players in the first team squad.

First off is an ex Chelsea & Arsenal youth player, Teodor Minchev joined the Swans when aged sixteen in July 2023. The academy picking him up from the Gunners. Whilst at Arsenal he received five International age grade call ups for Bulgaria. Then U17 manager, Yordan Petkov saw his talent, and selected him at just fifteen years of age. Next, Angel Stoykov played him in all three of the U17 Euros qualification games in 2023. Since joining the Swans he has featured in an international call up for the U19 Bulgarian set up, and commendably three years lower than the maximum age.

We do though have to go back even further as under the guidance of Dan Edwards at Chelsea he excelled there before joining Arsenal. He signed on for the Blues at twelve and within two years was captain of their U15 side. However, at Chelsea as it is at Arsenal, these are clubs who sign and reject hundreds of players, the bar is a very high one.

Now seventeen and having tasted involvement in the Swans U21 squad this season, Teo is already impressing the U21 coaching set up in training. As a centre back come utility defender the season ahead of him is one which could well reap rewards. Like all players at his age the Swans are going to want to see him develop yet again as he reaches his eighteenth birthday in October. It’s pretty certain he will be involved in the U21 set up next season, and for a young man who signed at just sixteen last July that’s some improvement.

Next up is Arthur Parker, on joining the Swans, Parker who is now was keen to use his time at the club to grow and develop - he is recognised as a confident and competent centre back. Having been rejected a scholarship at Fulham the Swans were keen to move quickly after a trial at Landore. Talking to the official Swans website on joining he said -

Signing a two year scholarship in August 2022, Parker is now retained and has a professional contract. Like Teo he started out at a London club, in this case Fulham. Signing terms at the age of sixteen as a scholar for the Swans he has continually impressed. Again retained for next season his representatives at the well thought of agency CAA Base are keen to enhance his profile and we are pleased to start that process. Parker started his time at the Swans in the U18 side and was in the team which was defeated 0-5 by his ex employers in the FA Youth Cup. He also displays a mature side when reflecting on his own and his teams performances. Last year after a quality game against Millwall for the U18 young Swans he said, “Everyone played really well, but at the end we were all disappointed that we couldn’t hold on for the win. Everyone put in a good shift, and we’ll have the chance to redeem ourselves against them again in two weeks' time. Millwall obviously did very well to come back, as we led twice. The second equaliser was hard to take because defensively, we were doing so well. It was mainly down to lack of concentration, but despite that we did put in a good performance that we can look back on. However, it’s a learning moment and we’ll reflect on it because we didn't switch straight back on after half-time and it cost us."

It isn’t unsurprising that both of these players in our spotlight are quality defenders within their age group, and centre backs to boot in their favoured positions. Both are now in and around the U21 side. The Swans have produced a quality Welsh international centre back in Ben Cabango. What we have been told prior to this feature is that any retained list doesn’t just totally rely on the players ability, it obviously counts but there is more to it, and not just temperament.

Swansea City are now planning ahead for the next two years, and the centre back position is key to that progression. Both of these young men are considered far better defenders than what is out there at this moment in time. However, as has become a natural recruitment course for the club they will be scanning the Premier League academies for more bright talent. In fact there are three who may well be coming to Swansea this summer. Wales does have some very bright prospects, however in the top ten or so they have all either been at the Swans academy or the club has better already in their ranks.

That may upset certain quarters of the fanbase who want to see more Welsh players in the age grade sides, but that’s how it is rolling at the moment. The Swans are wanting the best talent that have been released from the Premier League academies as much as they scour the country for Welsh players. There are two in their sights who are Welsh by birth or by International appearances, maybe more about them when we revisit the wonderful talent that is the Swansea City academy in the future.

And let’s not forget Swansea, by city of birth, the area has provided more International players than any other town or city in Wales. And yes by a country mile too. It’s in the tap water I’m told, or maybe the talent from a city so used to fighting their way in life is the common denominator ? That determination is needed by these two young men, and if they can display it, the future ahead of them is there with open arms.

Photgraphs with permission Dimitris Legakis

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Himent added 15:41 - May 27
Great to see Swansea investing in young talent like Minchev and Parker! Both seem to have solid potential and could be key players in the future. Excited to see how they develop and contribute to the team. Anyone else following their progress?

You need to login in order to post your comments

Swansea City Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© FansNetwork 2024