After almost four years of signing for Cardiff City, Rhys Healey got off the mark on Saturday as he scored the Bluebirds only goal in their 1-0 victory over Burton Albion.
His first side you may wonder? gap Connah’s Quay of the Welsh Premier League were the club that gave Healey his first chance in football as he came off the bench as a substitute in the Nomads 6-1 victory over Caersws in the Huws Gray Alliance back in 2011.
The forward who at just 17 has trials at Stoke City and Manchester City scored his first goal in the Welsh Premer League against Bangor City in 2012/2013.
15 goals in 30 appearances, including 12 goals coming in the top flight of Welsh football, caught the eye of Cardiff City, who produced a reasonable fee for the ten 18 year-old striker, as well as a pre-season friendly to attract a big crowd following the signing of the striker.
Spells at Colchester and Dundee mixed in with a great scoring spell with the Cardiff City development squad allowed him to make a loan move to Newport County, in which he scored a credible 7 goals in 21 appearances at a side bottom of League Two.
After his headed goal yesterday it shows that Healey has developed into a smart player and that his progression as a player started from the youth academy of the Nomads.
Spending five years at the Nomads, in which he played at U14 level all the way to the first team is a key sign that players who have spent time in the Welsh Premier League can nurture into successful players and play a high quality level such as the Sky Bet Championship in England.
Most recently we saw Brighton & Hove Albion sign former Bangor City loanee Jordan Davies from Wrexham, which means the Welsh Premier League could perhaps adapt to a league that offers first opportunities for younger players, having them play against experienced players, which can only benefit the Welsh Premier League, the Welsh national team and the player themselves.
PHOTO CREDIT TO JONRCANDY