YOU’D forgive most 20-year old debutants for being a little nervous when they step up to play international football, but not Man City midfielder Emyr Huws.
The on-loan Birmingham City ace is hardly likely to find himself being intimidated playing alongside Gareth Bale and Co this week considering the calibre of player he’s used to training with on a daily basis.
The youngster is being tipped to feature for Chris Coleman’s side at the Cardiff City stadium on Wednesday night as Wales face Iceland in a friendly clash.
The visitors, who feature the likes of Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, came within a whisker of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
However, compared to what Huws is used to at a domestic level, they might as well be an anonymous bunch of pub players.
“I watched the cup final at the weekend, I was chuffed for the lads (Man City beat Wigan 3-1 in the Capital One Cup final), I watched it at my parents house in Llanelli,” he said.
“It’s obviously going to be a tough squad to get into at Man City, but just training with those players is amazing, at the start I was a bit star struck.
“I’m learning from players like Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, two of the best midfielders in the world and it certainly helps bring me on.
“You see what Yaya did in the final (scoring a magnificent equaliser) and hopefully one day I can do the same, though I’m not sure if I’ve got that in the locker!
“It’s not intimidating for me coming into the Wales set-up because of that quality, but it’s another great experience for me.”
However, despite all the quality at City, Huws grew up modelling himself on a different player.
“When I was growing up I always looked up to Steven Gerrard, but I guess now you look at all the top players like Yaya and Fernandinho and Sergio Busquets and you try and take a bit from all of their games.”
Huws is desperate to now prove his worth ahead of Wales’ 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign.
“It’s a special feeling, a great feeling to get the call for Wales and I’m so happy to be here,” he said.
“Chris Coleman has been in touch with Lee Clarke, they used to play with each other and he’s been keeping an eye on my progress.
“I’m enjoying my time at Birmingham, I’m playing a lot and improving every week.
“There is a good mix of ages at Birmingham and a lot of youngsters and we’re coming through together.
“The boys have been good with me since I joined up with Wales and I know I have a good opportunity to show what I can do at this level.
“We’ve got a good squad now with Wales, we should be beating most teams and we’re in a decent group, we’ve got a good chance.”