Bluebirds debut for Cwmbran teenager

LOOK out Theo Walcott, there’s a new kid in town.

Cwmbran teenager Theo Wharton made his debut for Cardiff City on Saturday and he’s destined for big things.

Wharton – the 17-year-old son of former Cwmbran Town favourite Sean Wharton – made his Bluebirds bow as a 70th-minute substitute in the 4-2 FA Cup defeat at West Brom.

The Wales under-17 star will be on FA Youth Cup duty against Spurs at the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow but City manager Malky Mackay insists he has a big future ahead of him.

“Theo is a young player with potential and we gave him a taste of something he has never been involved in before,” said Mackay.

“It was great experience and an eye-opener for him to play against Premier League opposition and mingle with our first-team players.

“He is a young boy with a big future.”

Wharton previously played for Race Juniors and helped them reach the Tesco Cup final at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

He signed for Cardiff just over three years ago and was given his first contract in July 2011.

“It was a great day and we are so unbelievably proud of Theo,” said Sean Wharton, who helped Cwmbran Town to the Welsh Premier League title as a player in 1993 and was manager of the Crows from 2005 to 2007.

“He didn’t know he was on the bench until about 12.30pm on Saturday so we made a mad dash up the motorway to see him.

“At least that meant he didn’t have too much time to think about it,” he added.

“He said he was a bit nervous but he’s had a great progression over the past few years and did very well.

“He’s done brilliantly and he’s a much better player than me, but he won’t get carried away.

“He’s a steady lad who takes everything in his stride and he knows he’s still got loads to learn.

“He’s not over-confident or arrogant but it’s nice to hear Malky Mackay praising him and hopefully he continues to be part of the first team squad.”

Wharton was first selected for the Wales under-17s squad by intermediate team manager Brian Flynn for the 2011 Euro qualifiers where he started two games against Belgium and Denmark.

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