Article by Josh Lawless
Recently, Welsh football has taken a huge step forward in terms of both success and popularity. This season, a side originated from Wales in Swansea City deservedly won the Capital One in which they played some wonderful football. Along with that achievement, Cardiff City have took full control of the Championship and they now find themselves clear at the top of the Championship, with Premier League football on the horizon. Non-league Wrexham also had a bit of success, with them reaching the FA Trophy final at Wembley; the second Welsh side to do so this season.
On the international scene, Wales have also been doing reasonably well. They are playing a stylish brand of football and in my view; this is the best squad they've had for since the days of Hughes, Southall, Saunders and co. It is evident that Chris Coleman is in favour of developing and producing players and with so many gems coming through; he is slowly building a side that is ever improving and developing. If you look at their squad, the majority of their players are under the age of 24, meaning that in a few years time, they could be a real force, especially with a phenomenal player like Gareth Bale central to their plans.
In their recent fixture with Scotland, Bale was substituted with a virus and it has been said over the past few months that Wales were nothing without Bale, but their spirited comeback to defeat the Scots 2-1 just shows that they have a group of very talented players and even without their prize possession, they are capable of securing win's. Of course, Bale gives them that little bit of quality in the final third, but in the game against Scotland every player did their bit for the team and that resulted in the win, so that must be very pleasing for Chris Coleman.
A possible Welsh side in the future
If you look at that side, there is a huge amount of quality in it. The players I put in the side are under the age of 24, apart from skipper Ashley Williams and Tranmere Goal-keeperOwain Fon Williams. The midfield looks superb, the industry of Jon Williams, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey in the centre, accompanied with Bale's explosiveness and Collison's work rate and football brain out wide; they really have to build their philosophy around that midfield, it is their bridge for success in my opinion. There are two good young full-backs in Davies and Gunter and the centre-half pairing of Emyr Huws and Ashley Williams is something I really like. Williams is an excellent reader of the game and a great leader, while Huws is a player who I have watched a few times for the City youth team and though central defence is not his preferred position, it is one where I think he could excel in. Owain Fon Williams is a good shot-stopper between the sticks and there's also Wayne Hennessey, who is still recovering from an injury. I've also left out a few players who also have big careers ahead of them, such as Adam Henley, Adam Matthews and Jake Cassidy, this shows just how many promising players that Wales have in their ranks.
So it's evident to see that the future is definitely bright for Welsh football, on both the international and domestic scene. Wales have a great crop of youngsters coming through are building a very good footballing side, while Swansea City and Cardiff City should remain in the Premier League for years to come. Countries like Wales and Scotland are often in the shadow of England, but they may not be the case in the next few years as a bright future beckons for Welsh football.