PREMIER League new boys Cardiff City have signed up two more of the brightest prospects in Gwent football.
Two teenagers from Cwmbran are the latest to commit to the Bluebirds cause, following in the footsteps of Theo Wharton, also of Cwmbran, and Garndiffaith’s Gethyn Hill.
Goalkeeper David Rich-ards has signed a 12-month contract with the Championship winners.
The 19-year-old former Croesyceiliog School pupil has been with the Cardiff City Academy since he was nine.
Richards, a 6ft 3ins shot-stopper, had already attracted interest from other Premier League clubs but he met with club manager Malky Mackay and signed on the dotted line the day before Cardiff drew 0-0 with Charlton to guarantee promotion to the top flight.
“I was delighted with the offer and would like to thank the many coaches who I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years,” said Richards.
“These include George Wood, Martyn Margetson and the current goalkeeping coaches at Cardiff City, Lee Kendall and Jim Hollman.”
In his younger days the talented teen also played for Croesyceiliog Cricket Club but football has always been his dream.
While playing for Cardiff City at Academy level he has lined up against several Premier League clubs and he has also been on standby for the Wales under-21 squad.
Joining Richards in the capital is fellow Cwmbran youngster and current Croesyceiliog School pupil Jamie Bird.
The 15-year-old striker has been in the Cardiff Academy since he was seven and has just signed a two-year scholarship deal a year ahead of schedule.
Bird was not due to be considered until next summer and his scholarship will not begin until June 2014 but he knows that his short-term future is now secured.
“We are all chuffed with the news,” said his proud father Mark.
“It’s a great achievement, especially for someone of his age. It’s a year early because he’s only 15.
“It’s the proudest moment of my life. The coaches have told us he has to keep working hard and we know there is a long way to go but he’s loving it there.
“It’s down to him to keep working his socks off and if he does that he’s got a chance of being a pro.”