Sheffield United defender Rhys, who made his international debut in October 2020 against Bulgaria, starred for the Academy for around 3 years from the Under 11 age group after being spotted at a trial by ATFC legend Gari Lewis. From ATFC’s Academy, Rhys then progressed to Swansea City’s Academy before joining Sheffield United in 2018. He has since had four loan spells away from Bramall Lane; at Barrow, Rochdale, Luton Town and then finally Stoke City.
His International journey has taken him from the Under 19s to the Under 21s, for whom he appeared 14 times, before making his senior bow away to Bulgaria in the Nations League. He was handed the No.17 shirt for Euro 2020 by Rob Page and has since become a squad regular.
Rhys still keeps in touch with the club and kindly met with the current ATFC Academy players on a Zoom call back in February 2021 during the lockdown. He reflected on his time with the Academy and told the players that he absolutely loved his experience with ATFC. Rhys explained how it was his Grandad who first inspired him to play football and how he still watches all his games to this day. He then gave an insight into what goes on in an international camp in the days leading up to matchday, and playing alongside world class players such as Gareth Bale.
Rhys then reflected on his time playing Junior Football in Ceredigion for Bow Street as well as ATFC’s Academy, before moving on to discuss his move to Sheffield United and his subsequent loan spells, which included appearing at Old Trafford for Rochdale, where he walked out alongside another Euro 2020 star in Paul Pogba! He offered some good advice to the youngsters on the call – advising them to “be patient and learn the game”.
Tom Bradshaw of Tywyn joined the Aberystwyth Academy in season 2004-05. An outstanding young striker, he scored a hat-trick for the Academy in the 2008 Welsh Super Cup final before progressing to the Reserves and the first team making 4 Welsh Premier appearances and appearing in the Welsh Cup final against Bangor City, as a 16 year old.
He then joined Shrewsbury Town in May 2009 and made his football league debut for Shrewsbury Town on 10th April 2010 creating headlines by scoring twice in an away match against Crewe. Tom then played for the full Wales Under 19 squad against Liechtenstein scoring in a 2 – 0 victory and won a second cap in a 3 – 3 draw against Turkey in October 2010. Tom continued his international journey by making his senior international debut for Wales against Ukraine in Kiev on the 28th March 2016, earning two further caps subsequently.
Now boasting over 350 Football League appearances, Tom has enjoyed spells at Shrewsbury, Walsall, Barnsley and Millwall.
Gwion from Lampeter joined the Aberystwyth Academy as an 11 year old a spent three seasons at the Academy before moving to Swansea City's Centre of Excellence. A very talented and naturally gifted winger Gwion was scouted by Manchester United before eventually signing to Swansea. He became a Welsh Youth Cup winner with the Swans and gained his first professional contract in the summer of 2011.
Later that year, Gwion won two Wales U19 International Caps playing in the UEFA Under 19 European Championships against Scotland and Slovenia. Gwion then earned six caps for Wales U21 between 2012 to 2014, and has earned three call-ups to the senior Cymru squad but without an appearance, most recently in October 2018.
Gwion has amassed over 300 Football League appearances with spells at Crawley Town, Peterborough Town, Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic - playing an instrumental role in The Latics' 2021/22 EFL League One title win.
Alex joined the Academy as an 11 year old before a short period signed to the Swansea City Centre of Excellence, however soon returning to the Academy as a result of travelling difficulties. Alex attracted interest from Cardiff City before making his mark with the Aberystwyth Youth and First Team, including a goal in the 4th round of the Welsh Cup.
Alex won his first Welsh Cap with the Welsh U18 Semi-Professional squad, facing the Republic of Ireland in February 2012, scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 victory. Still aged 16, Alex went on to win more caps with the Welsh Schools U18 squad, scoring the winning goal in a historic win over England.
Alex attracted interest from Premier League clubs Manchester United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa, before agreeing to join Swansea City on a two year scholarship in 2012. Alex worked his way through the Swans' U18, U21 and U23 squads with loan spells at Morton and Newport until his release in 2017. A spell at Stevenage followed before three years with Wycombe Wanderers, where he partnered Adebayo Akinfenwa on The Chairboys' front line! In 2021, Alex moved on to Ross County of the Scottish Premiership.
Alex has amassed over 200 senior appearances across the Welsh, English and Scottish leagues.