Full-back looks back on personal positives of 2013-14
18-year-old defender Declan John wrapped up an impressive season on Monday night as he played the full 90 minutes of Wales Under-21’s qualifying fixture against England at the Liberty Stadium.
A Nathan Redmond hat-trick helped England secure an important 3-1 victory, but it did little to take off the shine of a breakthrough year for City’s young full-back - a season that has seen him make 24 appearances for the Bluebirds and claim his first senior International cap.
Making his second Under-21 appearance for Geraint Williams’ side, City’s recently crowned Young Player of the Season reflected on a tough test against a strong England outfit saying: “They have a very strong side, full of experienced Premier League players. They played some very good football at times and caused us a few problems.
“Nathan Redmond had a good night, getting the hat-trick, he caused problems for us all evening to be fair. He’s one of many in their squad with plenty of Premier League experience but I thought the boys did well and we showed that we can compete.”
The Merthyr born Bluebird will now take some time out to reflect on a season that saw him establish his worth as a Premier League full-back, with full focus on making an instant return to the league’s top flight when the squad returns to pre-season training.
“Personally, it has been a good season for me,” reflected John. “Playing quite a substantial amount of games in the Premier League isn't bad for an 18-year-old, although of course getting relegated was very disappointing and difficult to take for us all.
“It's all the more motivation to want to make an instant return to the Premier League now however, we have a taste of it.
“You've got to be confident,” John continued. “We've got a good squad of players there, with a lot of the squad that got us promoted still with us. It's a good foundation for us to build on and hopefully we can get back there as soon as possible.
“It's the league that we want to play in, it's probably the best league in the world. We know we've got the players that can get us there so hopefully we can go and do it.”