Mike Fowler Elite Squad member signs for Academy
A STAR member of the Mike Fowler Elite Squad has been snapped up by amateur footballing outfit Merthyr Town.
David Gwyn-Shallis was spotted playing against the Southern League side's academy team - and the opposing coaches didn’t even wait for the game to finish before signalling to Sully-based coach Fowler their desire to sign the 16-year-old.
Sully Sports player-coach, and former professional at Crystal Palace, Fowler - who himself played for and captained Merthyr - said: “Dave had a really good game and managed to get on the score sheet, so that attracted their interest.
“They didn’t even wait for the game to finish before they said they wanted him!"
Barry-born Fowler said a number of other players from the squads, which range from age two to 18, had been signed to professional clubs over the summer but David, who plays as a striker, represented as big a success story as any of them.
“For me, getting signed at his age is a bigger achievement than going to a professional club as a nine-year-old,” he said.
“The number of 16-year-olds getting picked up at academy level are few and far between. “By then clubs are looking for the finished article - but Dave isn’t far away from that.”
The Cardiff and Vale College student will train once a week with the club, and play a match on a Saturday, with the aim of securing a place in the first team or impressing enough to move on to a professional club.
“Dave has the pace and positional sense to get into goal scoring chances every game," added Fowler.
"With a bit of hard work improving his composure, he stands a good chance of turning a few heads at Merthyr and then maybe moving on to bigger and better things.”
Former Cogan Coronation player David said: “I’m really looking forward to testing myelf at that level and making an impression.
“I had already started preparing for life away from football by doing a plumbing course at college, but now it feels I have been handed a chance to make a go of it.
“If it doesn’t work out I will continue with my studies but I’m determined to give it my best shot. Who knows where it might lead.
“Thanks to Mike and head coach of the elite squads Steve McCarthy-Campbell for all their hard work with me," he added.
"There’s a real family feel at the squads and they have looked after me all the way, including taking me up to Merthyr to have a look around and sign the forms.”
Fowler thanked Cogan Coronation for their handling of the situation.
“Dave had just broken into their first team, but when they heard about the offer from Merthyr they didn’t stand in his way - their attitude was first class.”
* For details of Mike Fowler's Elite Squads and holiday coaching courses, visit www.football-coaching-wales.co.uk or call 07515 753845.