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[Fm14] Wales: The Golden Generation?

Follow Tom Conwy in his bid to take Wales to glory
Started on 10 September 2014 by tomtheone
Latest Reply on 7 November 2014 by tomtheone
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Wales handed tough World Cup draw

UEFA announced today the groups for World Cup 2018 in Russia. Wales were seeded 2nd for the draw but were handed a tough group, coming up against familiar foes Marc Wilmots and Belgium for the third successive group stage.

Denmark and Hungary will also provide tough competition for the Welsh team who are joined in Group 7 by Andorra and Belarus.
Belgium will be tough, but your goal will have to be to top the Danes and Hungarias

Wales squad announced

Tom Conwy has submitted his list to the FAW for the games against China and the final Group E qualifier with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Both Joe Allen and James Collins have been told to rest during the international break but not to worry about their international futures despite being dropped. Sam Vokes doesn’t make the cut either with both Craig Davies and Simon Church called up as forwards.

Both Kyle Letheren and Owain fon-Williams have been called up and will provide competition for Wayne Hennessey. David Cotterill and Ashley ‘Jazz’ Richards both retain their places after impressing in their last outing. Jack Collison and Ash Taylor return and Declan John and Lloyd Jones have been promoted from the U21’s with Jones in line to make his debut.
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8 yearsEdited

Wales lucky to beat China

Welsh fans will be unhappy with their sides slim 2-1 victory over China in an entertaining match for the neutrals. Kyle Letheren was handed his Wales debut in goal.

David Cotterill scored a fantastic effort, squirming through the Chinese defence and scoring with a powerful shot into the top corner, just out of the Chinese keeper’s reach. The goal, just after the half hour mark was a rare effort for Wales in a match bereft of chances. Simon Church had an opportunity to double the score following Andy King's corner but it was well saved.

Captain Ashley Williams was withdrawn at half-time to be replaced by the debuting Lloyd Jones who put in an admirable shift.

The second half was much of the same until Craig Davies continued his impressive scoring record, scoring a well-placed effort on the hour. China pegged one back just 5 minutes later and were searching for an equaliser, even having a goal ruled out after a scuffle in the area following a corner. Gareth Bale replaced Andy King who picked up a knock, but made little difference in the final outcome. James Chester came close to his maiden goal for Wales he was also denied while Kyle Letheren ensured China's search for an equaliser was in vain.

Wales will be happy to have come through the match with the victory and without picking up any injuries. Bosnia overcame Belgium in their penultimate European Championship qualifier, leaving Group E wide open.

Richards (J. Williams ’45 )
A. Williams © (Jones ’45 )
A. Taylor (Chester ’74 )
N. Taylor (Dummett ’74 )
King (Bale ’61 )
Church (C. Davies ’45 )

Tom Conwy wary ahead of final game

Despite only needing a point against Bosnia-Herzegovina to qualify for Euro 2016, Wales boss Tom Conwy was cautious during his meet with the press. Conwy was speaking to the BBC after his side’s 2-1 win over China.

The Bosnian result over Belgium still sees Wales lead the group, two points ahead of Belgium (who face Luxembourg) and three points ahead of Bosnia.

When asked on his side’s chances on qualification, Tom Conwy gave a confident but reserved response. “Well, the onus is definitely on Bosnia. They need to come here and get a result. In many ways it would have been better for us if Belgium had won and we’d already be through. But now we have the chance to finish top of the group.”

He continued, “Like I said, they need the result, we don’t, so long as we don't get thrashed, obviously. We’ve shown we can beat them on their own turf so let’s see how they perform in Cardiff later this week. In any case, it will be a fantastic match and I’m looking forward to it.”

Bosnia will be without their captain Emir Spahic after a second yellow card in their win over Belgium. Players may only be booked twice before serving a one match ban in European Championship qualification. Wales have also been dealt a blow with the news that Chris Gunter will miss out through injury, Jazz Richards is expected to fill in for him.

Fantastic Welsh first half ensures qualification

Wales have qualified for Euro 2016, topping Group E following a 3-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Hal Robson-Kanu continued his fantastic international form, finding space in the Bosnia area to rifle a shot into the top corner, with Begovic well beaten.

A quick counter attack, sparked by Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and a surging run by Jack Collison saw a lovely one touch interchange between Collison, Bale and Craig Davies, with the latter providing a quick one-two with Bale who comfortably steered the ball past Begovic.

Craig Davies, who was substituted at halftime after picking up a knock, played an instrumental role throughout the first half with great holdup play and vision and it was the Sheffield United forward who won a penalty late in the first half, hauled down in the area. Aaron Ramsey confidently stepped up and scored.

Wales took their foot off the pedal in the second half, easily stemming out any Bosnian attacks. However, in the second minute of injury time, Aaron Ramsey’s careless ball was seized upon and some good passing found Edin Dzeko with the simple task of finishing past Hennessey. The goal proved to be little more than a consolation and Bosnia’s hopes of qualifying for the European Championships now rest in the playoffs after finishing third in Group E. Belgium convincingly beat Luxembourg 7-1 in the other Group E match and sees them finish in second.

A. Williams ©
B. Davies
Ledley (King ’90 )
Bale (J. Williams ’77 )
C. Davies (Church ’45 )
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8 yearsEdited

FAW delighted with Euro qualification

The FAW are today rejoicing with the news that Wales have qualified for the European Championships for the first time in their history. Wales did appear at the 1976 European Football Championships but not under its current format have the team featured.

A spokesperson gave a brief statement on the FAW website, “We are delighted that the Welsh national team has qualified for the 2016 European Championships in France. While we expect a high standard of football from our players and managers at every level, to have qualified top in an exceptionally tough group is a fantastic achievement. We wish Tom Conwy and his team the best of luck later in the year.”

Tom Conwy was also spotted heading into the FAW headquarters in Cardiff earlier this morning, looking a little worse for wear after no doubt celebrating with his team after their triumph over Bosnia. He said, “It looked a little touch and go after Bosnia beat Belgium but after Hal (Robson-Kanu) scored early on, I had a feeling that we’d make it through alright.”

Tom Conwy ended the interview saying, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a few Resolve, I’ve got a blinder here. Neil Taylor kept getting jaeger-bombs in and I need a shower!”

Several photos have emerged on social media of the Welsh staff and players enjoying the nightlife of the Welsh capital into the early hours of the morning. Several of the players themselves have also Tweeted messages of celebration.

Ben Davies wrote:

While Jazz Richards tweeted:

Second friendly tour announced

With Tom Conwy putting extra emphasis on the importance of team bonding and the success of Wales’ tour to the Middle East earlier this year, the FAW have sanctioned a second tour during the next international break. Wales make the long trip to South Africa to take on Bafana Bafana before a number of tours and excursions and a game against North African team Morocco.

The FAW also plan for the team to tour Johannesburg and a safari of Botswana’s Okavango Delta with a number of other trips to be announced.

Tom Conwy said, “It’s so encouraging that the FAW has gotten behind these little trips. We need everyone on board for France so this will be a great time to get the boys back together before the Euros.”

Of the last tour, Conwy said, “I believe the trip over to Qatar and Egypt was the catalyst for the win against Bosnia last summer. We’d been going through a bit of a rough patch before those games and to come away with some impressive results really helped us go on unbeaten through the rest of the group.”

The FAW have also announced they will host Oman in March. The Arabian side are now managed by former Liverpool striker, Ian Rush, who remains Wales’ top scorer with 28 international goals. His most recent involvement with the Welsh national team was as the U19 manager who he left to take over Oman.

The FAW said, “We look forward to welcoming Ian and Oman back to Wales. He has been a fantastic servant to Wales over the years.”

Wales squad for tour announced

There are a number of returns ahead of Wales’ tour to Africa as Wales boss Tom Conwy retains an experienced line-up. Having previously stated that he would ideally like to take the team that helped him to qualify for France 2016, there are very few surprise inclusions. While James Collins misses out with an injury, Joe Allen is recalled after being rested from the last squad.

Karl Darlow, Adam Matthews and Marley Watkins have earned recalls having missed the last cut and both Lloyd Isgrove and Emyr Huws (on loan from Tottenham) have been recalled to the squad. Sam Vokes misses out again. Joe Ledley makes way as Wales look to experiment with a number of wingers in the squad.

Wales stroll past South Africa

An efficient Welsh performance saw them run out comfortable 2-0 winners over South Africa. Wales were ahead within the second minute as Simon Church’s cute pass allowed Hal Robson-Kanu to slot home.

Both teams were in the mood to attack and twice Karl Darlow made important saves before Adam Matthews cleared off the line. Andy King and Lloyd Isgrove also saw shots saved in the first half.

Wales were afforded a break early in the second half as Andy King picked up Chris Gunter’s pass and finished well. It was only King’s second international goal. Andy King twice had opportunities to double his tally but staunch goalkeeping denied him before Wales captain Ashley Williams hit the post with a powerful header.

Matthews (Gunter ‘45 )
A.Taylor (Chester ’53 )
A. Williams ©
N. Taylor
King (J. Williams ‘77 )
Robson-Kanu (Collison ’82 )
Isgrove (Bale ’77 )
Church (C. Davies ’87 )

Wales team spotted in Johannesburg

The Welsh national football team landed in Johannesburg earlier this week and toured some of the cities landmarks before taking on South Africa in a friendly. Wales won the match 2-0 after two days in the country where they were seen at touring Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum before setting off to Cape Town the following day.

A number of the Welsh team took part in a shark dive from a boat trip that left Cape Town. Gareth Bale tweeted this:

It wasn’t for everyone though, as evidenced by this tweet from Craig Davies:

They also took a trip to Table Mountain before flying out to Mmabatho, close to the Botswana border where they trained ahead of their match. After their game with South Africa, Wales will take a safari tour over the border in Botswana of the Okavango Delta before jetting off Morocco.

Gareth Bale to the rescue for Wales

An inspired performance from Welsh substitute Gareth Bale spared his side’s blushes in a 3-1 win over Morocco.

After Marley Watkins saw his 4th minute strike ruled out for offside, Wales offered very little in attacking threat and were punished as Morocco took a deserved lead. Youssef El Arabi scored past Owain fon-Williams on the half hour mark.

Neither side looked particulary up for it for the rest of the first half and it wasn’t until the Real Madrid star replaced Marley Watkins in the 73rd minute, among a slew of substitutions, that saw the game turn on it's head.

Aaron Ramsey’s pass found Bale in the area and while his initial shot was parried, combined pressure from Bale and Church ensured the Morocco keeper fumbled the rebound into his own net. From the resulting Moroccan kick-off, Wales won back possession and a beautiful cross-field ball from Chris Gunter found Bale completely unmarked, for him to put Wales ahead.

Just a few minutes later, Simon Church played in Jon Williams and he confidently found the net. Wales went from a goal down to 3-1 up in just five minutes which will surely delight manager Tom Conwy.

Chester (A. Taylor ’45 )
A.Williams ©
B. Davies
King (Allen ’73 )
J. Williams
Collison (Huws ’45 )
Cotterill (Ramsey ’73 )
Watkins (Bale ’73 )
C. Davies (Church ’45 )

Tom Conwy delighted with tour results

Tom Conwy spoke with reporters as his team arrived back in the UK tonight. The team plane from Marrakesh arrived in Heathrow at around 8am this morning and the players were given permission to return directly to their clubs.

When asked just how Tom Conwy thought the tour went, he replied jovially, despite the early hour. “Once again, my expectations have been surpassed in every way. All the boys had a great time and I can see new bonds forming every session. I think the lads can go back to their clubs in high spirits and excited for their next call ups.”

On Gareth Bale’s impact in the Morocco game, “We got lucky there. Gareth was fantastic as usual. I didn’t start him in either game as I wanted to let Marley (Watkins) and Davey (Cotterill) have a run out but when he came on, he changed the game. He’s just a fantastic player.”

On Emyr Huws and Lloyd Isgrove’s performances, he said, “They did ok. Both of them have missed the last few games and the lads ahead of them are in great form and their confidence is sky high. Obviously, there is still time to get in my plans before we fly out to France but the lads that helped us qualify are the ones I’ll be taking to the Euros with me.”

Wales to open European Championships

Wales will have the honour of sharing the opening match of Euro 2016 as they were paired with hosts, France, in Group B. Wales will have reason to go into the match full of confidence having not lost in a year. They match will be held in the Stade de Lumières, the new home of Olympique Lyonnais.

As manager of Wales, Tom Conwy will look back to the 2-2 draw with France in late 2014 where Craig Davies scored a last minute equaliser.

Wales will also face familiar foes Belgium, who they were grouped with in the World Cup qualifiers for 2014, the Euro 2016 qualifiers and will face them again in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. It is worth noting that Wales have not beaten Belgium in the 3 games they have played under Tom Conwy’s leadership.

Wales will also face Slovakia in the final game of Group B in a match that may prove decisive.

To prepare for their first major tournament since World Cup 1958, Wales have announced friendlies with Norway and Czech Republic.

Speaking after the draw in Paris, Conwy said, “Yes, it’s a very tough group but there are no easy groups at this stage. Can we qualify? Of course, if we have everyone firing on all cylinders. The boys are all in a great place at the moment and injury free, we can compete with the big boys!”

“We have a very rare opportunity here and I’ll be asking all of the fans of Welsh football to get over to France to cheer our boys on. It will be a tournament to remember, that’s for sure.”

Wales end of year report shows drastic turnaround

Having not lost in a calendar year and unbeaten in 10 games, Wales fans will be positive of their team’s chances to play competitive football at the European Championships.

The FAW were speaking ahead of the Welsh Player of the Year awards in Cardiff and praised Tom Conwy and his team for the fantastic achievement of qualification for the Euros.

Wales take on Oman, Norway and Czech Republic before they head to France, opening the competition as they take on the hosts. They will also face Belgium and Slovakia.

Wales FIFA ranking has risen to an all-time high. This time last year they were languishing in 59th but their drastic turnaround in form, which saw them amass impressive victories of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Iceland has seen them climb the rankings to 21st.

No Ashley Williams in Wales Best Eleven

Wales’ ever-present captain, Ashley Williams was left out of the fans Best Eleven pick. Wales are currently on their best ever run, having not lost in ten games with only a 0-0 draw with Belgium denying them ten straight wins.

Karl Darlow pipped Wayne Hennessey in goal, despite the Crystal Palace keeper seemingly assuring his position as Tom Conwy’s number one. Ashley Williams lost out to Sheffield United’s Ash Taylor, while Neil Taylor took the right back slot, despite normally appearing for Wales at left back or left wing. Otherwise, there were few surprises, Joe Ledley deservingly picked ahead of his midfield rivals Andy King, Jon Williams or Jack Collison and Craig Davies’ healthy goal return ensured he was picked ahead of Simon Church and Sam Vokes.

While Tom Conwy's final squad for the Euros remains his decision, fan votes like this definitely have an impact and while there are several automatic picks, several players can still force their way into his squad before the final pick.
Great year mate, good luck in the Euro's - France and Belgium won't be easy!!

Wales pick squad for match with Oman

Tom Conwy has picked his squad ahead of Wales’ game with Oman. While many are calling it a glamour friendly, aimed to put Oman boss Ian Rush into the spotlight, Tom Conwy has left a number of players who are guaranteed places in his squad.

Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams have stayed with their clubs. Hal Robson-Kanu, Wayne Hennessey, Ben Davies and Joe Ledley are also left behind. The impression is that Tom Conwy sees those players as already having one foot on the plane and is experimenting with the upcoming friendly.

George Williams and Lee Evans are in line to make their debuts for Wales.

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