After recently signing his first professional contract with Haverfordwest County, Jacob Owen says he is fully focused on working hard to continue his development in the next year-and-a-half.
The defender linked up with the club’s academy back in September, and was soon promoted to the senior squad, where he has been a regular fixture ever since.
The 19-year-old, who captained Bradfield College in his time as a student across the border, is pleased to have put pen to paper after what has been an encouraging start to his time in senior football.
“I’m very happy,” he began. “It’s been a good start to the season, so hopefully I can kick on now in the next 18 months, we’ll see what happens in that time.”
Reflecting on his first five months or so with the Bluebirds, Jacob is quick to praise his fellow teammates who have helped to make his transition a smooth one, enabling him to make the most of the opportunities he has had to date in the JD Cymru Premier.
“It’s been a great experience learning what the Cymru Premier is like, playing men’s football,” he continued. “It’s been a great experience for me, playing with boys who have plenty of experience [in the league].
“It’s nice to be able to fit in with the boys quite quickly, they made it really easy for me to fit in.”
Explaining how the move to Haverfordwest County came about, the youngster pointed to a previous relationship he had with the current manager and assistant manager in the very early stages of his youth career.
“I knew Penns [Tony Pennock] and Waggy [Gary Richards] from when I first joined the academy at Swansea City. Penns was the academy manager and Waggy was also up there as well, so he kind of watched me and saw me play. I think he was one of the ones that spoke to my dad to get me here!”
Jacob’s full debut came on November 19 when County travelled north to take on high-flying Connah’s Quay Nomads in Flint. There could be few tougher matches to make your senior bow in, however it was one he embraced, and he was proud to have been able to play a part in what was a fantastic 2-1 victory.
“It was a great debut for me, I guess. It’s nice to play in tough games like that away from home.
“Getting a win up there, I’m not sure if it was the first time, but it was great to be able to be involved in something like that.”
Although many players his age might have found the step up to Wales’ top-flight league a daunting one, it’s clear to see that Jacob is taking everything in his stride as he shows an impressive level of maturity and focus as we approach the business end of the season.
“It’s good. It’s challenging. That’s what I want. I want to be playing and be challenged. It’s something that has challenged me.
“I’m really enjoying my time here at the moment, so I just need to keep working hard now ahead of the last 10 games of the season, and hopefully we can get seventh spot and get into Europe again.”