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Wales national under-21 football team

Wales Under-21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Young Dragons
Association Football Association of Wales
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Geraint Williams
Most caps Shaun MacDonald (25)
Top scorer Ched Evans (13)
FIFA code WAL
First international
 England U-21 0–0 Wales U-21
(Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton; 15 December 1976)
Biggest win
Wales U-21 6–2 Cyprus U-21 
(Ninian Park, Cardiff; 22 October 1993)
&
Wales U-21 5–1 Luxembourg U-21 
(Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli; 31 March 2009)
Biggest defeat
 Italy U-21 8–1 Wales U-21
(Stadio Pietro Fortunati, Pavia; 5 September 2003)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances None (First in n/a)
Best result 1st of 5 in Qual.
group, 2009. Lost in play off.

The Wales national under-21 football team, also known as the Wales U21s, is the national under-21 football team of Wales and is controlled by the Football Association of Wales. The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, held every two years. To date Wales haven't yet qualified for the finals tournament but in recent years have shown good form, losing in a playoff (5–4) to England in the 2009 qualifying campaign and finishing second in their group two years later, after leading their group until their last game Wales only needed a draw to qualify for the play-offs but lost 1–0 away to Italy.

The U-21 team came into existence following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against England at Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium was Wales U21s' first result.

The national under-21 team is the highest level of youth football in Wales, and is open to any players who were born in Wales or whose parents or grandparents were born in Wales. This team is for Welsh players aged 21 or under at the start of a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, and often are, up to 23 years old. Also in existence are teams for Under-20s (for non-UEFA tournaments), Under-19s and Under 17s. As long as they are eligible, players can play at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side and again for the U21s.

Contents

  • Recent history 1
  • Players 2
    • Latest squad 2.1
    • Recent call-ups 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Recent history

In recent decades, the team has been viewed by the Welsh national management as more of a hole to be filled than a team to be used to nurture young international players, many of the great Welsh players of recent years having not spent long in the under-21 team. Ryan Giggs only made one appearance for the under-21 team before making his senior debut against Germany the next day.

From 2004 onward however, the former Wales national football team manager John Toshack and former Wales Under 21 manager Brian Flynn used the under-21 team to create a pool of youthful Welsh talent. The team now has a much better tracking system of young Welsh players, and has seen a marked improvement in players and team results. Recent results have seen them achieve big wins against Estonia (5–1), Northern Ireland (4–0) and France (4–2).

Some of the players who have made the step from the U21's to attain over 25 caps for the senior squad are Lewin Nyatanga, Joe Ledley, Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes, Simon Church, Wayne Hennessey, David Vaughan, Andrew Crofts, David Edwards, Andy King and Aaron Ramsey.

On 15 May 2008, they played a friendly against England U21s to mark the 100th match in the history of the side, losing 2–0.

A 3–0 victory against Romania in September 2008 meant that the Under-21 side finished top of their qualifying group for the first time in their history. It meant Wales would go into a two-legged play-off against England in October 2008 for a place in the finals of the 2009 UEFA U-21 Championship to be played in Sweden. Wales lost the playoff 5–4 over the course of two legs. Losing 3–2 at home in the first leg and drawing 2–2 away in the second.

Wales started their qualifying campaign for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with a 1-0 away win against Andorra, a 3-1 away loss against Montenegro, a 1-0 home win against Montenegro, a 1-0 home defeat against Czech Republic and a 0-0 away draw against Armenia.

In May 2012 Brian Flynn vacated his position as Wales under-21 manager at the end of his contract and in July 2012 Geraint Williams was appointed team manager [1]

Players

Latest squad

Players born on or after 1 January 1994 are eligible for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.

Wales squad for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship match against Denmark on 9 October 2015. Jordan Williams withdrew through injury and was replaced by Tom Lockyer. Wes Burns was called up to the senior squad and was replaced by Callum Saunders.[2]

Caps and goals as of 9 October 2015. Players in bold have attained full international caps. Clubs as of the date of the announcement.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Billy O'Brien (1995-11-22) 22 November 1995 2 0 Manchester City
1GK Michael Crowe (1995-11-13) 13 November 1995 0 0 Ipswich Town
2DF Declan John (1995-06-30) 30 June 1995 5 0 Cardiff City
2DF Gethin Jones (1995-10-13) 13 October 1995 4 0 Everton
2DF Josh Yorwerth (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 3 1 Crawley Town (on loan from Ipswich Town)
2DF Joe Wright (1995-02-26) 26 February 1995 2 0 Accrington Stanley (on loan from Huddersfield Town)
2DF Jordan Evans (1995-09-23) 23 September 1995 2 0 Fulham
2DF Tom Lockyer (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 1 0 Bristol Rovers
2DF Liam Shephard (1994-11-22) 22 November 1994 0 0 Swansea City
3MF Lee Evans (1994-07-24) 24 July 1994 9 2 Bradford City (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)
3MF Tommy O'Sullivan (1995-01-18) 18 January 1995 8 2 Newport County (on loan from Cardiff City)
3MF Josh Sheehan (1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 5 0 Yeovil Town (on loan from Swansea City)
3MF Louis Thompson (1994-12-19) 19 December 1994 2 0 Swindon Town (on loan from Norwich City)
4FW Ellis Harrison (1994-01-29) 29 January 1994 7 1 Bristol Rovers
4FW Ryan Hedges (1995-07-08) 8 July 1995 5 0 Swansea City
4FW Harry Wilson (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 3 1 Crewe Alexandra (on loan from Liverpool)
4FW Jake Charles (1996-02-16) 16 February 1996 2 0 Huddersfield Town
4FW Callum Saunders (1995-09-26) 26 September 1995 0 0 Crewe Alexandra

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Wales under-21 squad and remain eligible.

Name DOB Club Caps (goals) Most recent call-up
Goalkeepers
Christian Dibble (1994-05-11) 11 May 1994 Barnsley 1 (0) v  Bulgaria, 31 March 2015
Defenders
Jordan Williams (1995-11-06) 6 November 1995 Swindon Town (on loan from Liverpool) 1 (0) v  Denmark, 9 October 2015
Dominic Smith (1996-02-09) 9 February 1996 Shrewsbury Town 1 (0) v  Luxembourg, 4 September 2015
Elliott Hewitt (1994-05-30) 30 May 1994 Notts County 10 (0) v  Lithuania, 9 September 2014
Adam Henley (1994-06-14) 14 June 1994 Blackburn Rovers 3 (0) v  England, 5 March 2014 (withdrew)
Jordan Holt (1994-05-04) 4 May 1994 Free Agent 0 (0) v  San Marino, 15 October 2013
Alex Nicholson (1994-02-01) 1 February 1994 Blyth Spartans 0 (0) v  Moldova, 22 March 2013
Aaron Oakley (1994-10-04) 4 October 1994 Free Agent 1 (0) v Iceland, 6 February 2013
Midfielders
Declan Weeks (1995-11-15) 15 November 1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (0) v  Bulgaria, 31 March 2015
George Glendon (1995-05-03) 3 May 1995 Manchester City 0 (0) v  Bulgaria, 31 March 2015 (withdrew)
Billy Waters (1994-10-15) 15 October 1994 Cheltenham Town 0 (0) v  Finland, 5 September 2014 (standby)
Alex Bray (1995-07-25) 25 July 1995 Swansea City 0 (0) v  Finland, 5 September 2014 (standby)
George Williams (1995-09-07) 7 September 1995 Fulham 2 (0) v  England, 19 May 2014
Chris Dawson (1994-09-02) 2 September 1994 Leeds United 2 (0) v  Finland, 14 August 2013
Forwards
Wes Burns (1994-11-23) 23 November 1994 Bristol City 12 (5) v  Denmark, 9 October 2015 (senior squad call-up)
Owain Jones (1996-10-01) 1 October 1996 Swansea City 0 (0) v  Luxembourg, 4 September 2015 (withdrew)
Bradley Reid (1995-10-15) 15 October 1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (0) v  Lithuania, 9 September 2014
James Loveridge (1994-05-16) 16 May 1994 Swansea City 0 (0) v  England, 19 May 2014
Tom Lawrence (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 Blackburn Rovers (on loan from Leicester City) 8 (3) v  England, 19 May 2014 (withdrew)

See also

References

  1. ^ Williams appointed to Wales Under 21
  2. ^ "WALES U21 NAME SQUAD FOR MATCH AGAINST TOP SEEDS DENMARK". faw.org.uk. Football Association of Wales. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 

External links

  • UEFA Under-21 website Contains full results archive.
  • The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21/U-23 Championships.
  • Football Association of Wales Contains fixtures/results and news for every Welsh national football team.
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