Joy As Welsh Wow Us All Over Again
Heroes Making Up For Country’s Lost Time
George Berry, Rob Edwards, Wayne Hennessey, Carl Robinson, Bryn Jones….your boys handed out a hell of a beating!
Life just gets better and better for Wales players and supporters – semi-finalists in France in 2016 and now as good as through to the European Championship knock-out stages this time with a game still to play.
Once more, the team from the principality are providing the story of the tournament as they continue to make up for the country’s decades of absence from the major stage.
Rob Edwards, Freddy Eastwood, Paul Jones, Sam Vokes, Adrian Williams and Eric Young are other Wolves men whose caps came only in friendlies and/or qualifying games and no player on the staff at Molineux had ever represented Wales at a tournament finals until David Edwards five years ago.
The midfielder, who has this month signed for JD Cymru Premier club Bala Town after his release from Shrewsbury, is on record as saying the Welsh international squad now have more talent in depth than Chris Coleman’s 2016 group.
But he was concerned that the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale – instrumental in the outstanding win in Baku yesterday – were not quite the players they had been on the run past the likes of Russia, Northern Ireland and Belgium five summers ago.
We wouldn’t have known as much from the performance in the 2-0 win over Turkey – it was sensational and has whetted our appetites for their game against Italy and beyond.
There is no Wolves interest in Rob Page’s squad, of course, but we reported three days ago on the involvement in Europe at present of Nathan Blake, another player who represented the country while at Molineux.
The others to have pulled on the red shirt, with the number of caps won while at Wolves, are John Bowdler (2), Craig Davies (1), Joe Davies (2), Ryan Green (2), Albert Lumberg (1), John Matthias (1), Teddy Peers (8), Charlie Phillips, David Richards and Dick Richards.
Dave Edwards totalled 43 caps, the majority while with Wolves, and is likely to have travels of a different kind with his new club.
Bala finished third in their league last season and were this week drawn against Northern Ireland side Larne in next month’s two-leg opening tie in the new Europa Conference League.
The 35-year-old had previously said he was unlikely to drop down the leagues into part-time football but the lure of playing in Europe for the first time prompted a rethink.