Chester: The future is bright for Wales
International
11 November 2017

Chester: The future is bright for Wales

James Chester believes the future is bright for Wales despite Friday’s 2-0 friendly defeat against France.

A goal in each half from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud saw the home side claim victory in Paris.

But it was a memorable night for both Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks, who both made their international debuts for Wales.

The duo were introduced midway through the second half – together with Ben Woodburn – in one of Chris Coleman’s most youthful substitutions in recent times.

And Chester insists he saw plenty to be positive about despite defeat at the Stade de France, as the defender looked ahead to Tuesday’s friendly against Panama in Cardiff.

“Firstly, massive congratulations to Ethan (Ampadu) and David (Brooks) for their debuts,” he said.

“I think they showed great composure when they came on – Ethan at the age of 17, David at 20 and Ben (Woodburn), so the future of Welsh football is very bright.

“I’m not sure what the manager will do on Tuesday, but whatever happens it will be a good game and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”

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Despite France being without several key players for the clash in Paris, Didier Deschamps’ side showed their class in the early stages as they dominated possession and created a number of good chances.

Griezmann opened the scoring on 18 minutes after volleying home a pass from Corentin Tolisso, while the striker looked impressive in his link-up play with both Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.

However, Chris Gunter had a good chance at the other when he saw an effort saved, while the introduction of a flurry of Welsh youngsters in the second half saw Chris Coleman’s side give France a scare.

But Giroud doubled the home side’s lead before France went on to hit the woodwork twice in the closing stages.

“We knew with the quality that they have that it was going to be difficult, and that certainly showed for the first 15 minutes,” said Chester.

“We did well to keep it at 1-0 and stay in the game, and once we took some time on the ball and kept possession we created a few chances ourselves.

“Had one of those gone in then it might have been different, but it was always going to be difficult against such quality opposition.

“From the moment I first played international football I’ve always wanted to play against the best players and the best teams.

“I think right now you aren’t going to get many better teams than France, but it was a good learning curve and a great game to be involved in.”