After a frustrating night for the Welsh Senior Team, the next generation of young Welsh talent were very much embodying the ‘Welsh Way’ of playing football in Bangor, as Geraint Williams’ Under-19s beat England 3-2 in a thrilling game of football that saw the Young Dragons climb to second place in their UEFA Under-19 Championships Qualifying Group.
Wales v Luxembourg
UEFA U19 Championship - Qualifying Group 6
- Bangor University Stadium, Bangor - KO 5.00pm
- Tuesday, 15 November 2016
- Coverage: Live on FA Wales Facebook
Battling for every ball, Wales’ youngsters ran their socks off, showed a tremendous fighting spirit and were worthy winners at the Bangor University Stadium as they bounced back from Thursday’s defeat to Greece in some style to set up a tantalising clash with Luxembourg on Tuesday (15 November) in Group Six’s final game, with the fate of Williams’ side very much in their own hands.
Tyler Roberts and Ethan Ampadu spoke to FAW.Cymru the former was naturally a very proud captain when reflecting on the match.
“This game [England] was something that was on our mind straight after the Greece game and we knew we had to bounce back and get a win; the boys gave absolutely everything on the pitch and we’ve been able to get the result to show for that.”
On the subject of the performance itself, 17-year-old Roberts heaped praise in the direction of his teammates and the coaches for the collective efforts that ensured such a fantastic result, and looked ahead to Tuesday’s final qualifier against Luxembourg.
“It can leave you isolated up top on your own,” said Roberts. “I’ve had Nathan Broadhead playing behind me in the number 10 role and he works his socks off, keeps getting around me, but it came off and the game-plan worked; the coaches gave us everything they could to help us get the points today and the boys have come good.
“Credit to everyone though, we’ve gone 2-0 up and at that point it starts to get into your head that you’re going to win this game, but then to go back to 2-2 a lot of teams might crumble and the other team might stay on top, but we’ve kept together and got the three points after getting another goal.
“Everyone is going to be up for Luxembourg on Tuesday, it’s a chance to make history and we have a really good chance to get to the Elite Round; I’m sure Luxembourg will want to get some points on the board as well, so it should be a good game.”
Ethan Ampadu and his fellow defenders showed fantastic composure to keep England at bay for the most part, and the 2016 FAW Young Player of the Year reflected on his emotions after the result, particularly how keen the team were to get a result after the Greece game.
“I’m very happy, everyone played their part and everyone played well – I don’t know what it is about this stadium, I think it is just England really; every time we play them we’re obviously really up for it and we give 100% as we do in every game, but with England it just seems to click every time. I think since the final whistle after Greece, we’ve been thinking about this game and what we can do to try and qualify for the Elite Round.
“I don’t know if I can describe how it is in that dressing room right now, everyone is just buzzing! Particularly towards the end I thought they had a lot of possession around the box, but you’ve got to give credit to everyone who played – at the back, in the midfield and the forwards – because we dealt with the crosses and did what we needed to do.”