The selection dilemmas that face Mark Jones ahead of England C clash

With the Wales C squad to face their English counterparts in Salford announced today, what dilemmas could face manager Mark Jones when it comes to selecting his team?

Finding the right balance in midfield

There is no shortage of quality from the list of midfielders that Jones has selected, with three of the eight players in this position coming from Barry Town United.

Robbie Patten, Jordan Cotterill and Clayton Green have been part of a Linnets midfield that has been firing on all cylinders so far this season.

You then add in players like the imperious Aeron Edwards, and Bala playmaker Henry Jones, and you begin to understand just how tough a task Jones is faced with.

Will Jonah opt to go with a three-man midfield, which has a holding player and two players further up?

If that is the case, we could be looking at a midfield of Patten, Edwards and Henry Jones.

This area of the team is almost certainly the most contentious and competitive, with lots of quality players battling it out for starting berths.

To three or not to three?

Another talking point is how the team will shape up in attack.

Will Jonah look to play with one striker up top, with an attacking midfielder behind? Two strikers up top? Or maybe a striker supported by two wingers?

This decision depends largely on how the midfield shapes up, of course.

Carmarthen Town striker Liam Thomas is the highest-scoring Welsh player in the league this season with 17. You would think that warrants his place in the starting 11.

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However, this is another keenly-contested area of the team.

Barry striker Kayne McLaggon netted a hat-trick in the Welsh Cup at the weekend, and has scored 10 times in the Welsh Premier League to date.

If Eliot Evans is named in the side, surely his club partner Adam Roscrow has to be included too? The pair have developed a very strong partnership in recent seasons.

Caernarfon attacker Danny Brookwell will fancy his chances of making the side if Jonah opts for a front three.

The winger could join someone like Roscrow on the flank, with either McLaggon or Thomas playing through the middle.

Familiarity at centre-back?

This position will be contested for by Cardiff Metropolitan’s Emlyn Lewis and Joel Edwards, as well as Nathan Peate from Cefn Druids.

The key question here is whether or not Jones wants the guarantees that playing two team-mates together should bring.

Lewis and Edwards both turn out regularly for the Archers, and have developed a good connection.

Peate, however, also has a strong case for featuring in the starting line-up.

The 27-year-old has been impressive at the back for Ancients, making 23 appearances in the league to date.

He has shown that he has an eye for goal, netting on four occasions, making him the Druids’ third highest scorer in the Welsh Premier League.

The Ancients’ defensive record may count against Peate, however. The north Wales side have conceded 44 goals in the league, 10 more than the Students have let in.

It’s set to be an interesting two weeks or so, as the debate around team selection will undoubtedly begin to ramp up.

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(Featured image: Will Cheshire)

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