Woodburn and Wilson all set for senior call-ups

Date published: Monday 15th May 2017 3:21

Ben Woodburn: Called up for Wales senior duty

Liverpool pair Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson have been omitted from Wales’ Under-20 squad at the Toulon Tournament to link up with Chris Coleman’s seniors.

Wales have been invited to the prestigious U20 tournament in the south of France later this month on the back of their success at Euro 2016 last summer.

But the emerging Liverpool youngsters have not been included in manager Rob Page’s squad, with Wales preparing for next month’s World Cup qualifier in Serbia at a training camp on the Algarve in Portugal.

Boss Coleman has yet to name his squad for that June 11 qualifier in Belgrade against Group D leaders Serbia.

Asked if Woodburn and Wilson would be needed for World Cup duty, Wales intermediate manager Page said: “Potentially they could be.

“I’ve spoken to Chris in the last couple of weeks and gone through the players that I’ve got available.

“I’ve sat down with Gus Williams (chief scout) and these are the 20 we’ve come up with.”

The Liverpool youngsters have both broken into the first-team squad at Anfield this season.

Woodburn became Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer at the age of 17 years and 45 days when he netted against Leeds in the EFL Cup in November.

He came off the bench to make his ninth appearance in Liverpool’s 4-0 Premier League win at West Ham on Sunday, while Wilson made his Reds’ debut in January’s FA Cup win at Plymouth.

Wilson became Wales’ youngest-ever player when he was capped against Belgium in October 2013 at the age of 16 years and 207 days.

The 20-year-old has not represented Wales since but, like the uncapped Woodburn, he was a member of the squad which drew away to the Republic of Ireland in March.

Page has appointed Paul Bodin, the former Wales defender, as his assistant and Watford’s Alec Chamberlain as goalkeeping coach.

The 78-times capped Craig Bellamy, who has been working at the Cardiff Academy and is set to take charge of the Bluebirds’ Under-18 team next season, will not be going to Toulon but could be involved in future coaching sessions.

But former Port Vale and Northampton boss Page will be without talented Exeter teenager Ethan Amapdu in Toulon.

Ampadu has had scouts heading to Devon this season after making his Grecians’ debut in August at the age of 15, but tournament rules prevent him from playing in Toulon.

“One of the rules of the tournament is that you can only pick players born between 1997 and 1999,” Page said.

“It’s frustrating for us that Ethan is seen as too young to play because he’s playing men’s football week in and week out.”

Everton’s Gethin Jones is too old to play in Toulon having celebrated his 21st birthday last October.

But Page remains confident that Australia-born Jones, a former Wales Under-21 captain, will commit fully to the Dragons despite overtures to play for the Socceroos.

“He’s a player we’re keen on and he’s shown that he’s a Welsh player,” Page said.

Wales have France, Ivory Coast and Bahrain in their group in Toulon, with their first game against the tournament hosts in Aubagne on May 30.

Wales U20 squad: L Thomas (Swansea), Pilling (Tranmere), Dasilva (Chelsea), Coxe (Cardiff), Clark (Aston Villa), Poole (Man Utd), Davies (Fulham), Norrington-Davies (Sheff Utd), Abbruzzese (Cardiff), Rodon (Swansea), Smith (Man City), Broadhead (Everton), Evans (Swansea), Brooks (Sheff Utd), Harris (Cardiff), Ovenden (Watford), Roberts (West Brom), James (Swansea), Cullen (Swansea), G Thomas (Coventry).

Related Articles

HAVE YOUR SAY IN OUR FORUM

Comments