Siôn Spence, Joe Adams, Pablo Martinez, Ryan Reynolds have withdrawn from the squad through injury. They have been replaced by Sam Pearson, Cameron Evans, Callum Watts and Keenan Patten.
Wales Under 19s manager Paul Bodin says his side’s ‘excited by the challenge’ after announcing his squad for the UEFA U19 EURO Championship Elite Round later this month.
#U19EURO Elite Round fixtures
Wales v Netherlands
- 20/03/19 18:00, Hardenberg
Spain v Wales
- 23/03/19 12:00, Hardenberg
Slovenia v Wales
- 26/03/19 18:00, Assen
KO times GMT
Wales travel to the Netherlands where they will face the Dutch hosts, Spain and Slovenia as they aim to become the first ever men’s U19s Welsh team to reach the finals of an intermediate tournament. Manager Bodin says his team are hoping to make a good impression of themselves in the elite round. “Having gone this far our next aim is to try and qualify for the finals. Only the top team go through out of the group and with the standard of teams we’re up against it’s going to be tough but we’re really looking forward to it.”
Bodin has recalled Siôn Spence and Pablo Martinez to the squad after missing last November’s qualifying round but he says selection has been difficult with other players missing out through injury. “You always want your best players available so it’s great to see Sion and Pablo fit again but there is also a downside. Isaak Davies has been involved in our setup over the last twelve months but misses out through injury and Lewis Collins, one of our scorers in the qualifying round, dislocated his ankle a few weeks ago so we wish him a speedy recovery as well.”
Wales reached the Elite Round after an impressive qualifying round in Rhyl and Bangor last November. The side started the campaign with a 2-1 defeat to eventual group winners Scotland but the side recovered, eventually beating top seeds Sweden 2-1. A final day victory against San Marino confirmed qualification for the team for the first time since 2014. Bodin says the team’s togetherness both on and off the pitch has been a big factor in the success.
The team spirit with this group is massive. Everyone’s been working together and it’s really helped us. This group have been together for 18 months, it’s a good group of players in a good environment and every player’s looking to give it their all with the hopes of going a step further. We have a good balance in the team. With the ability our attacking players have I believe we can score goals and at the same time we have defenders that can stop what the top teams throw at us.
Adam Przybek (West Bromwich Albion), George Ratcliffe (Cardiff City), Ryan Reynolds (Cardiff City), Jay Foulston (Merthyr Town FC- On loan from Newport County), Pablo Martinez (West Bromwich Albion), Morgan Boyes (Liverpool), Neco Williams (Liverpool), Ryan Astley (Everton), Ben Cabango (Swansea City), Brandon Cooper (Swansea City), Joe Adams (Bury), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest), Luke Jephcott (Plymouth Argyle), Christian Norton (Southampton), Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers), Dylan Levitt (Manchester United), Ryan Stirk (Birmingham City), Siôn Spence (Cardiff City), Sam Bowen (Cardiff City), Dan Griffiths (Cardiff City)