Wales U15 Boys suffered a ‘baptism of fire’ in their first international tournament but showed a vast improvement during their time in Belgium.
Osian Roberts’ team travelled to the Belgian FA headquarters in Tubize to take on the hosts and Switzerland in the annual Tri Nations Tournament.
After watching the Belgians beat the Swiss on the opening night, the Welsh team, who had only previously faced Brittany in March’s snow-affected double-header, found the step-up tough.
They suffered as the strong Swiss side scored three unanswered first-half goals.
And the half-time team-talk was still ringing in the players’ ears when the soft fourth flew past keeper Max Williams.
Two more goals completed the rout and Wales’ tournament looked in tatters.
But in the 24 hours that followed the group were galvanised and asked some tough questions of their talented hosts in the competition's finale.
They rode their luck at times but were only undone by a four-minute spell which saw two mistakes seized upon by the clinical Belgians.
Had Jadan Raymond finished off a glorious chance on the stroke of half time, a shock comeback could’ve been on the cards.
But, in the second half, the well organised Belgian back four did Well to keep Wales at bay – despite a string of chances and a spurned penalty shout.
After the match, FAW Trust Head of Player Development Richard Williams said: “The first match was a baptism of fire but in 24 hours they learned how to deal with international football.
“Belgium were a good side and they had some really good players.
“But we dealt with them much better than we did Switzerland.
“That shows the learning that went on in this camp.
“I was really proud of them, especially after having that scoreline put on them in the first game.
“They showed a lot of character and a vast improvement.”
Belgium 2-1 Switzerland
Wales 0-6 Switzerland
Belgium 2-0 Wales
Wales U15 Squad