WPL Young Player of the Year: THREE players unlucky to miss out
The Welsh Premier League has released its three-man shortlist for the award of Young Player of the Year, with nominations predictably sparking plenty of debate among fans and coaches alike.
Bala Town’s Anthony Stephens, Bangor City’s Henry Jones and Llandudno’s James Joyce have all been given the nod, with the overall winner set to be announced at the WPL 2016/17 Awards on Saturday May 20.
But while those nominated have undoubtedly all enjoyed impressive campaigns for their respective clubs, there are nevertheless a clutch of young players that can definitely count themselves unlucky to have missed out.
Emlyn Lewis – Cardiff Metropolitan FC
A former junior with Aberystwyth Town, the 20-year-old joined the Archers in 2014 as a SCRAM student, and has since played a significant role in not only guiding Met to the WPL, but also to the Europa League play-offs.
Lewis, who can play as a defender or midfielder has played 29 games of Met’s hugely successful first campaign in the top flight, scoring two goals.
Alex Jones – Rhyl
While it was a season of desperation for Rhyl, the performances of 22-year-old midfielder Jones will perhaps come as some crumb of comfort. The former Prestatyn Town star has scored seven goals in 22 appearances, putting him level with Carl Lamb as the club’s top scorer this season, and has proved he is more than capable of coping with the demands of the WPL.
With the Lilywhites losing their place in top flight, Jones is likely to be seen as a hugely important player in their bid to bounce back at the first time of asking, although his impressive performances in an otherwise poor Rhyl team will surely not go unnoticed by other teams.
Alex Fletcher – Newtown
The 20-year-old midfielder has been an integral part of Newtown’s march to the Europa League play-offs, scoring four goals in 24 appearances.
The Shrewsbury Town, Ross County and AFC Telford United youngster is likely to be an important player for the club over the next few seasons, and some believe his current performances for the Robins merit a place on this year’s shortlist.
(Featured Image: Graham Haines, Cardiff Met FC)