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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 / First Post
Latest Reply on 7 November 2014 by tomtheone / Last Post
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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Coleman Out, Conwy In


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Chris Coleman has been sacked from his role as Wales manager by the FAW and replaced by newcomer, Tom Conwy. A spokesperson for the FAW said, “We thank Chris for his time at the helm of the Welsh national team, but after due consideration, we have taken the opportunity to look elsewhere in a bid to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.”

She added, “Chris took over following a difficult time in our team’s history, replacing Gary Speed would never be an easy task. However, we felt that with the players at his disposal, Wales should be more competitive at international level. We wish him the very best for the future.”

While qualification is still possible, it will be a difficult challenge for Tom Conwy and his team. He has elected to keep the forthcoming friendly with San Marino to assess his squad before the make or break qualifiers against Serbia and Belgium and the final games of Group 1 against Croatia and Scotland.

When asked about his appointment, Conwy said, “It is a great honour to be named as the manager of your country. I was as surprised as anyone at the appointment but I believe with this crop of players and the potential that our U21 & U19 squads possess, I am sure Wales can become a competitive force in international football.”

When asked about his forthcoming World Cup qualifying squads, he added, “I doubt I will look to bring in wholesale changes from the outset. Chris Coleman used a number of seasoned players and I will continue with that philosophy until our World Cup qualification chances are confirmed one way or another. However, my style of play is very different.”

On the issue of the 'Golden Generation' tag that has been put upon a team that includes Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen, Conwy replied cautiously,“I think it's unfair to add labels to individuals like that. But I can say for sure that we have the players to have a good go at leading this team into a major tournament.”

He later signed autographs with the growing number of fans outside the Millennium Stadium and was heard to shout, “Cymru am Byth.”

A number of Welsh internationals have taken to social media to welcome Conwy in his new role, with Reading fullback Chris Gunter tweeting:

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Crawley striker Robert Earnshaw also took to Twitter, hoping to catch the attention of his new manager.

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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited
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Conwy names first squad for friendly with San Marino.


True to his word, Conwy has elected to name a familiar squad in his first match in charge. There are two surprise inclusions in the full squad with Newcastle’s Paul Dummett (on loan at Bolton) and Dundee goalkeeper Kyle Letheren both called up. Gareth Bale misses out through injury, but Conwy is able to name a strong squad.

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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Comfortable win over San Marino


Wales’ match away to San Marino was Tom Conwy’s first match in charge of the Welsh national team and despite having a staggering 19 shots, Wales managed only a 2-0 win courtesy of a second-half brace from Sam Vokes. Both were simple tap ins; the first capitalising on a calamity in the San Marino defence and the second following up Craig Bellamy’s parried shot. The second came after intense Welsh pressure and good build up play from Collison, Cotterill and Ben Davies.

Hennessey (Myhill '45 )
Gunter (Ricketts '45 )
Collins
Williams ©
Davies
Ledley (Collison '68 )
Ramsey (King '45 )
Allen
Robson-Kanu (Cotterill '45 )
Bellamy
Vokes (Church '76 )

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Conwy pleased with first victory


When congratulated by BBC Wales reporters after his first victory as Wales coach, Conwy made sure not to get carried away. “It was a good win for us but I am under no illusion that San Marino present one of the easier challenges in European football. Despite the win, there is a lot of work to be done, especially in our midfield.” He went onto state that he is looking towards to the games with Serbia and Belgium with anticipation, but was nontheless happy to get off the mark.
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited
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Conwy announces coaching roles


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Tom Conwy has announced that he has appointed a number of coaches to work at all levels of the Welsh team. All former coaches retain their jobs, with the exception of Kit Symons who leaves his position as Assistant Manager but will remain in the fold as first team coach. Joining him will be former Welsh internationals Robbie Savage and Alan Curtis. Both Osian Roberts and Martyn Margetson remain as first team and goalkeeping coach respectfully.

Sven Goran-Eriksson’s former assistant, Tord Grip has accepted a role to become Conwy’s assistant. Conwy stated, “Tord arrives with a wealth of footballing knowledge that we believe will be essential for our teams development over the next year.”

When pressed whether Ryan Giggs could join the Welsh coaching set up, Conwy replied candidly, “We approached Ryan but he’s still happy playing with Manchester United. We’d love to have him join us here but who knows? The man is a freak, he could still be playing in five years!”

At U21, Conwy has appointed Paul Jones as goalkeeping coach as well as Joey Jones. Both will join Geraint Roberts and Robert Page in the hope that their vast experience will inspire a new generation of Welsh youngsters to make the step up to the first team. Between them they amass a remarkable 176 caps.

It is much the same story at U19 level, with Ian Rush named as U19 manager. Joining him will be John Hartson, former Wales manager Terry Yorath and as goalkeeping coach, Mark Crossley. They join Anthony Williams in his role as coach.

Conwy hopes that involving former Welsh internationals will help younger players to respect their national team’s shirt. He said he hopes that other Welsh internationals will join him in the future.
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited
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Conwy announces squad for World Cup qualifiers.


Tom Conwy has chosen his squad to face Serbia and Belgium. Gareth Bale’s first Wales appearance under Conwy is forced to wait a while longer as the Real Madrid winger is still nursing an injury. Wayne Hennessey also misses out with a wrist injury, but Conwy has stated he has no reservations in sticking with Bo Myhill in goal. The other two goalkeeping slots are filled by Owain fon-Williams and Karl Darlow, both are yet to make their debuts for Wales. Other potential debutantes include Wolves striker Jake Cassidy and Man Utd’s Tom Lawrence as well as Burnley’s David Jones.

The call-ups of Darlow and David Jones are contentious with both players born in England. All in all, there are nine changes from the team that beat San Marino.

Realistically, Wales will need to win both games to stand any chance of remaining in the hunt for a World Cup place.

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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Wales lose to Serbia


Wales can no longer qualify for the World Cup after a disappointing 1-0 defeat by Serbia. Adem Ljajic’s placed finish in the 69th minute proved to be the decisive blow in what was a very even game. Wales’ pre-match plans were scuppered when Hal Robson-Kanu limped off with an injury four minutes in. Despite the loss, fans were not overly unhappy to lose to a team containing Ljajic, Kolarov, Matic, Subotic and Nastasic.

Myhill
Gunter
Collins
A. Williams ©
Taylor
Ramsey
Collison (King '61 )
Allen (Cassidy '85 )
Robson-Kanu (J. Williams '4 )
Bellamy
Vokes

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Conwy asked about second nationalities


Following Wales 0-1 loss to Serbia Tom Conwy attended a phone-in with the Welsh language channel, S4C. Conwy fielded a number of questions concerning players choosing to represent a country they were not born in. Despite not taking to the field, both David Jones and Karl Darlow have opted to play for the Welsh national team despite being born across the border in England.

Conwy said of the issue, “Of course, to play for one’s country is an honour and people will always question if players really will wear the shirt with pride if they are born somewhere else. Both players (Jones and Darlow) have said they are eligible for Wales and I am happy enough with that as I see commitment from them.”

Conwy added, “There are a number of players who fit into this criteria but we will not chase them. If they want to play for Wales they will need to decide that for themselves.” Both Hull’s James Chester and Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross have been touted to play for Wales with their ancestral links but neither party has made the first move yet.
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Wales lose two in a row


Wales lost a second successive game against Belgium, leaving them with a fight to secure 4th spot in the group. Higher group standings affect what teams will play each other in future international group games so Wales will want to ensure they finish strongly. Kevin de Bruyne’s powerful free-kick in the 65th minute was enough to break through a stubborn Welsh defence. Wales made one change to the side that lost to Serbia; Ben Davies was selected ahead of his Swansea teammate Neil Taylor at left back. Despite back-to-back defeats, consensus amongst Welsh fans is that the team is improving.

Myhill
Gunter (Ricketts '85 )
Collins
A. Williams ©
Davies
Ramsey
Collison (J. Williams '69 )
Allen
Robson-Kanu
Bellamy (Church '85 )
Vokes

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Bale tweets support for beaten teammates


Gareth Bale, currently out of action with an injury sent a message of condolences to his Wales teammates after their results confirmed they will not be travelling to Brazil next summer for the World Cup. Tom Conwy will be hoping the Real Madrid star will be fit in time for Wales next Group 1 games with Croatia and Scotland.

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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Craig Bellamy set for Wales exclusion?


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After it was confirmed Wales can no longer qualify for the World Cup, Tom Conwy was asked if he would make changes in the final group games against Croatia and Scotland. “I think that’s a fair question. Some players will be expected to graciously make way for the younger generation in subsequent squads. Hopefully we will have Wayne (Hennessey) and Gareth Bale back for those games so there will be changes made in that respect.”

When asked about Craig Bellamy’s future in the Welsh squad he said, “Look, Craig’s been a fantastic servant for Wales over the years but he’ll be the first one to tell you when it’s time to let others have a look in. There’s a place for Craig in my next squad if his league form continues, but otherwise he’s as droppable as anybody else.”




Wales announce friendlies against France and Ireland


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Wales plan to use the November international break to play both France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris and Dublin respectively. France finished top of their group which included Spain, while Ireland narrowly missed out on a trip to Brazil, finishing third but level with Sweden, albeit with a lower goal difference. Germany finished top of that group.

During his punditry duties at the FA Cup tie between Crawley Town and Bolton Wanderers, SkySports asked Conwy about the choice of opponents. Conwy replied, “Both teams have a rich history of international football and will provide a stern test. With one eye on the European Championship qualifiers next year year it will be a fantastic opportunity to blood in new players and give others a chance to cement a place in the squad.”

During the match, Conwy was afforded the opportunity to check out Welsh internationals Robert Earnshaw, Sam Ricketts and David Edwards for consideration in his next squad.
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited
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Conwy names squad for final group games


There will still be plenty to play for when Wales take on Croatia and Scotland later this week. Croatia still have a chance to qualify while Scotland also need to ensure a strong finish for future group standings.

Conwy admits he is relishing the opportunity to finally work with Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid stars recovery from injury and he recalls Wayne Hennessey and Joe Ledley.

Joel Lynch, Craig Davies, Danny Collins and Robert Earnshaw all feature for the first time, having not been called up for Wales since Coleman’s departure. Southampton winger Lloyd Isgrove is in line to make his debut, as is Charlton’s Rhoys Wiggins.

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Great start mate, love an international career, hope it spells well.
Love the story, and BTW how do take over only a national team
This is going to be quite tough for you! Wales may be improving but I think you may find it some years before you get close to challenging the big boys. What does the FA expect? I hope they don't have too high expectations. Good story btw keep it up!
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited
Thanks guys! The FAW expects us to remain competitive but I think with a good start in the Euro's we will have a chance to at least qualify for a major tournament in the not to distant future.

To pick a national team I just clicked the drop down tab on the team selection and chose Wales (I made sure to load all Welsh players in the database though to ensure a complete National Pool).

Thanks guys, I have a few more games that I plan to put up soon.
tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

5 star Wales thrash Croatia


Many will put it down to the return of Gareth Bale but the Welsh team collectively excelled against Croatia in a 5-1 win very few will have expected. With a late knock to James Collins, Conwy chose Danny Collins as his replacement and he stood out in his centre back pairing with Ashley Williams.

Joe Allen steered home a well struck shot after Croatia half cleared Bale’s corner in the third minute. Marin Tomasov took advantage of a great ball from Srna to smash an equaliser just over ten minutes later. Croatia’s jubilation was short lived after Aaron Ramsey converted a spot-kick after a clear foul on Gareth Bale just three minutes later.

In the second half, Sam Vokes nodded in a third before turning provider, laying on a neat one-two with Bale, who announced his return to Welsh team with a thunderous strike. Hal Robson-Kanu’s volley was the icing on the cake for Wales who will no doubt be pleased with such an unexpected high scoring victory.

Hennessey
Gunter
A. Williams ©
D. Collins
B. Davies
Ledley (King ’86 )
Ramsey
Allen
J. Williams (Robson-Kanu ‘67 )
Bale
Vokes (C. Davies ’90 )

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tomtheone's avatar Group tomtheone
5 yearsEdited

Wales continue scoring at Scotland’s expense


Sam Vokes continued his rich vein of scoring with another brace as Ashley Williams also added a rare goal. Danny Collins retained his place at centre back after his impressive form against Croatia but Joe Ledley replaces Allen in midfield.

Vokes was in imperious form from the off, turning Stephen McManus before firing a powerful shot into the top corner. Williams headed in Bale’s near post corner before Vokes was again behind the Scottish defence to lob David Marshall. Jordan Rhodes grabbed a consolation goal midway through the second half but the game finished 3-1. The result confirms Wales in 4th place in Group 1, while Scotland finish bottom, without a win.

Hennessey
Gunter
A. Williams ©
D. Collins
B. Davies (Wiggins ’66 )
Ledley
Ramsey (King ’82 )
J. Williams
Robson-Kanu
Bale (Bellamy ’66 )
Vokes

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Wales fans rejoice after impressive results


Wales are really finding form under Tom Conwy’s management and with a solid crop of young players in their squad, fans will be hoping it will continue for years to come. With Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Liverpool’s Joe Allen and Crystal Palace’s ever improving Jon Williams, as well as Sam Vokes healthy goal return, there is plenty to be happy about in the Welsh camp. The players returned to their clubs this afternoon, buzzing after their latest results, BBC Wales caught up with Chris Gunter before he returned to Reading to ask his feelings with the Wales set up.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the Welsh team and everyone is trying their best to cement their place in the team. The tactics the gaffer is using at the moment seem to be working and we’ve all got to work hard to keep this ticking over. I’m really looking forward to the games against France and Ireland; we feel we can beat anybody.”

This feeling is obviously shared throughout the dressing room. In an interview with S4C, Joe Ledley answered questions regarding Conwy’s management and offered glowing praise.

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