After so many years of muted academy success at Cardiff City, it finally looks as though the kids are alright.
This season has seen the introduction of a number of promising starlets who have risen through the ranks, with a number of youngsters being rewarded with spots on the bench.
However, two young starlets have clearly caught the eye of Mick McCarthy since the manager came in and they have just been rewarded with their first professional contracts.
Rubin Colwill and Isaak Davies have put pen to paper on deals which will keep them at the club until June 2023.
Colwill, the towering, 18-year-old playmaker, made a big first impression on McCarthy during the manager’s first week in charge. McCarthy later said he was wowed by Colwill during training.
“I watched him with the residual from the squad and wow,” McCarthy said of Colwill earlier this month. “He stood out like a sore thumb. He’s a really good presence. A big, powerful lad. But technically very good.
“And he looks like a bloke! I said to him today ‘You’ll be a big lad when you grow up’. He’s like a fella in the dressing room.
“Then he trained with us again on Friday because I wanted to see him again. And again, handled it no problem. I like him.”
Colwill was named on the bench in the draw against Millwall and even made his first-team bow in the win over Coventry City last weekend, replacing Harry Wilson in stoppage time.
And what a couple of days it has been for him, with the news now emerging that he has signed professional terms with the club.
“I was over the moon on the weekend,” Colwill said. “It was great to come on and make my debut. I’m delighted with my new contract too.
“From joining the under-23s at the start of the season, it has all come quickly but I’ve worked really hard. From the cold evenings as a youngster on the 3G at Treforest to the present day. I’ve been here a long time and it is nice that the hard work is paying off.
“This is just the beginning. I want to make as much progress as possible.”
Davies, 19, has been in prolific goalscoring form for Steve Morison’s under-23s in recent weeks.
The Welsh youth international has also been recognised by McCarthy and the coaching staff, with the striker having been named on the bench for the draw with Barnsley and the Coventry win.
With just 21-year-old Max Watters and 22-year-old Mark Harris ahead of him for that second striker berth, both of whom are inexperienced at this level, Davies will no doubt be keen to force his way into the reckoning further as the campaign wears on.
“I’m very happy with my new contract,” Davies said. “I’ve enjoyed training and being a part of the first-team squad and the challenges that brings. I’ve been with the club since I was seven and have grown up watching a lot of these players in the squad with me. It shows how far I’ve come, but I know I’ve still got a long way to go.
“I’m thinking one step at a time. My hopes now are to continue training with the first team, keep progressing and featuring in the match-day squads.”