Wales youngsters have to bide their time, says Chris Coleman

WAITING GAME: Lee Evans, right, in action for Wales under-21s against England

WAITING GAME: Lee Evans, right, in action for Wales under-21s against England

First published in Wales rugby and football
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LEE Evans and his Wales under-21 teammates have been told to bide their time before they are ready to play for the senior team, writes Andrew Penman.

National team manager Chris Coleman watched Newport’s Evans in action as the under-21s were beaten 3-1 by their English counterparts in Swansea on Monday night.

And yesterday he named goalkeeper Connor Roberts and Cardiff City defender Declan John from that side in his senior squad to face Holland in Amsterdam on June 4.

Young Manchester United midfielder Tom Lawrence, who missed Monday’s match with a hamstring injury, is also included but Coleman says the rest of Geraint Williams’ youngsters will have to wait for their chance.

“It’s good for our other young players to look up to Tom because he’s come through the pathways,” said Coleman.

“He’s done the under-17s, the under-19s and the under-21s and now he’s in the first team squad so he’s a good example.

“Players get to 21 and they show a lot of promise but Tom has still got a lot of work to do, like all our youngsters, and he’ll know that.

“They’ve done really well to get where they are but there’s still a long way to go for all of them.

“It’s nice to promote some of the younger ones but, on the other hand, we have a duty of care as well,” he added.

“Some of them are clearly not ready to play with us, especially against Holland in Amsterdam.

“But if we have people pull out and we had to call on one or two more of them we would because some of them have been playing first team football, albeit at a lower level.”

Coleman believes next month's friendly against the World Cup-bound Dutch will be “an invaluable experience” despite being without a number of key players.

“It will be good for us,” said the Wales boss.

“If we lose more players, then we do. We have to get on with it, but the lads there will get the experience against a very good Dutch team going to the World Cup, and it will be an invaluable experience.”

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