Wales national under-21 football team
The Wales national under-21 football team, also known as the Wales U21s, is the national under-21 football team of Wales and is controlled by the Football Association of Wales. The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, held every two years. To date Wales haven't yet qualified for the finals tournament but in recent years have shown good form, losing in a playoff (5–4) to England in the 2009 qualifying campaign and finishing second in their group two years later, after leading their group until their last game Wales only needed a draw to qualify for the play-offs but lost 1–0 away to Italy.
|Association||Football Association of Wales|
|Head coach||Paul Bodin|
|Most caps||Shaun MacDonald (25)|
|Top scorer||Ched Evans (13)|
(Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton; 15 December 1976)
(Ninian Park, Cardiff; 22 October 1993)
(Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli; 31 March 2009)
(Stadio Pietro Fortunati, Pavia; 5 September 2003)
|UEFA U-21 Championship|
|Appearances||None (first in n/a)|
|Best result||1st of 5 in qual. |
group, 2009. Lost in play off.
The under-21 team came into existence following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against England at Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium was Wales U21s' first result.
The national under-21 team is the highest level of youth football in Wales, and is open to any players who were born in Wales or whose parents or grandparents were born in Wales. This team is for Welsh players aged 21 or under at the start of a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, and often are, up to 23 years old. Also in existence are teams for Under-20s (for non-UEFA tournaments), Under-19s and Under 17s. As long as they are eligible, players can play at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side and again for the U21s.
Historically the team was viewed by the Welsh national management as a hole to be filled rather than a team to be used to nurture young international players. Many of the great Welsh players spent little time in the under-21 team. Ryan Giggs only made one appearance for the under-21 team before making his senior debut against Germany the next day.
From 2004 onward however, the former Wales national football team manager John Toshack and former Wales Under 21 manager Brian Flynn used the under-21 team to create a pool of youthful Welsh talent. The team now has a much better tracking system of young Welsh players, and has seen a marked improvement in players and team results. Recent results have seen them achieve big wins against Estonia (5–1), Northern Ireland (4–0) and France (4–2).
Some of the players who have made the step from the U21s to attain over 25 caps for the senior squad are Lewin Nyatanga, Joe Ledley, Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes, Simon Church, Wayne Hennessey, David Vaughan, Andrew Crofts, David Edwards, Andy King, Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Joe Allen.
On 15 May 2008, they played a friendly against England U21s to mark the 100th match in the history of the side, losing 2–0.
A 3–0 victory against Romania in September 2008 meant that the Under-21 side finished top of their qualifying group for the first time in their history. It meant Wales would go into a two-legged play-off against England in October 2008 for a place in the finals of the 2009 UEFA Under-21 Championship to be played in Sweden. Wales lost the playoff 5–4 over the course of two legs. Losing 3–2 at home in the first leg and drawing 2–2 away in the second.
Wales started their qualifying campaign for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with a 1–0 away win against Andorra, a 3–1 away loss against Montenegro, a 1–0 home win against Montenegro, a 1–0 home defeat against Czech Republic and a 0–0 away draw against Armenia.
In May 2012 Brian Flynn vacated his position as Wales under-21 manager at the end of his contract and in July 2012 Geraint Williams was appointed team manager Williams resigned as team manager on 5 December 2016. On 15 March 2017 it was announced that former Port Vale and Northampton Town manager Rob Page had left his position on the coaching staff at Nottingham Forest to become Wales under-21 manager. In August 2019 Page was appointed assistant coach to the senior Wales squad under Ryan Giggs with Paul Bodin stepping up from the Under 19's to manage the Under 21 team.
Players born on or after 1 January 1998 are eligible for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Wales squad for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 19 November 2019 .
Caps and goals as of 19 November 2019. Players in bold have attained full international caps. Clubs as of the date of the announcement.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Adam Przybek||2 April 2000||1||0|
|GK||George Ratcliffe||12 September 2000||4||0|
|DF||Cameron Coxe||18 December 1998||13||0|
|DF||Rhys Norrington-Davies||22 April 1999||14||0|
|DF||Aaron Lewis||26 June 1998||10||1|
|DF||Brandon Cooper||14 January 2000||5||0|
|DF||Ben Cabango||30 May 2000||5||0|
|DF||Joe Lewis||20 September 1999||0||0|
|DF||Ben Williams||31 March 1999||0||0|
|MF||Jack Evans||25 April 1998||12||0|
|MF||Robbie Burton||26 December 1999||8||0|
|MF||Harry Clifton||12 June 1998||3||0|
|MF||Dan Mooney||3 July 1999||4||0|
|MF||Brennan Johnson||23 May 2001||4||1|
|MF||Ryan Stirk||25 September 2000||2||0|
|MF||Terry Taylor||21 June 2001||1||0|
|FW||Liam Cullen||23 April 1999||8||1|
|FW||Mark Harris||29 December 1998||17||2|
|FW||Nathan Broadhead||5 April 1998||14||1|
|FW||Jack Vale||3 March 2001||1||0|
The following players have also been called up to the Wales under-21 squad and remain eligible.
|Name||DOB||Club||Caps (goals)||Most recent call up|
|Kelland Absalom||21 May 1998||Unattached||1 (0)||vs. |
|Niall Clayton||17 February 1999||Unattached||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Rhys Davies||27 November 1999||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Regan Poole||18 June 1998||19 (0)||vs. |
|Cole Dasilva||11 May 1999||3 (0)||vs. |
|Ryan Sears||30 December 1998||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Joseph Low||20 February 2002||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Rhys Abbruzzese||23 March 1998||3 (0)||vs. |
|Jordan Davies||18 August 1998||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Ben Woodburn||15 September 1999||0 (0)||vs. |
|Oliver Cooper||14 December 1999||2 (0)||vs. |
|Tom Price||26 November 1999||1 (0)||vs. |
|Alex Babos||21 January 1998||7 (0)||vs. |
|Tom Pugh||27 September 2000||2 (1)||vs. |
|Morgan Roberts||22 December 2000||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Aaron Heap||14 May 2000||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Matthew Smith||22 November 1999||5 (1)||vs. |
|Sion Spence||2 November 2000||0 (0)||vs. |
|Kieran Evans||27 March 1999||2 (0)||vs. |
|Dylan Levitt||17 November 2000||1 (0)||vs. |
|Niall Huggins||18 December 2000||1 (0)||vs. |
|Momodou Touray||3 July 1999||3 (0)||vs. |
|James Waite||11 May 1999||0 (0)||Training squad, 22 March 2019|
|Tyler Roberts||16 February 1999||5 (1)||vs. |