Matthew Jones has been appointed as Cymru U18 manager, taking charge of a new age group team that is due to participate in UEFA competition later this year.
Jones is a former Cymru international who earned 13 caps between 1999 and 2003, before injury cut his professional career short after spells with Leeds United and Leicester City at club level.
Jones joins the FAW coaching set-up from Swansea City, where he was responsible for the club’s U23 academy team.
“I’m very proud to be making this step, it’s a fantastic chance that I’ve been given,” said Jones on his appointment.
“I feel so overwhelmed and so incredibly proud to be part of the international set-up,” he added. “It provides me with an opportunity to apply my unique way of working with players, putting the person first before the player and instilling the right principles that are within the Welsh curriculum.”
Jones has some experience within the intermediate set-up after being provided a recent opportunity with the Cymru U16 team in the Victory Shield and he can’t wait to get back involved in the international set-up.
Many of his former Cymru teammates are already part of the coaching set-up and Jones is excited to get started and be involved in preparing young internationals for the future.
“Knowing Ryan (Giggs), Rob Page, Paul (Bodin) and Rob Edwards, there’s a wonderful working family that I’m going to be part of, not only are they excellent coaches in their own right but they’re also wonderful people, creating a positive environment.”
Jones' Cymru team will play in a new UEFA #U19EURO championship structure. The tournament will incorporate UEFA Nations League-style groups in a two-season cycle. For the first round, Cymru have been drawn in league B1 and will face Georgia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the hosts Bulgaria. Matches are due to take place 7-13 October.
A full explainer from UEFA regarding the new championship format can be found here.