Tom Bradshaw: Every footballer can learn from Gareth Bale

By Jay FreemanBBC Wales Sport
Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw has scored 11 goals in 2016 - eight for former club Walsall and three for Barnsley

Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw says every footballer can learn from the examples set by Wales stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

Then playing for Walsall, the 24-year-old won his first senior cap for Wales in their defeat by Ukraine in March, giving him the chance to rub shoulders with the duo.

Injury dashed his hopes of joining them at Euro 2016, however.

"They constantly want to improve and get better so that's something every footballer should apply to their game," Bradshaw told BBC Radio Wales.

Bradshaw enjoys "childhood dream"

Wales have been buoyed by the success of Arsenal midfielder Ramsey and Real Madrid forward Bale in 2016 as they reached the semi-finals of the European Championships, their first international tournament for 58 years.

Bradshaw, who has scored three goals in 19 appearances for the Tykes this season, puts the success of the pair down to two factors.

"You watch them train and you watch them play and you try to pick their brains about how they managed to get to that level," he said.

"A lot of it is natural ability and natural talent, but the thing that strikes me is their hunger; their hunger to want to improve even though Gareth's playing for Real Madrid and he's a massive part of his country's team."

Missing out on France

Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw began his career as a trainee with Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town

Bradshaw says he was "gutted" to miss out on Wales' memorable Euro 2016 campaign after a calf injury ruled him out of contention.

The former Aberystwyth Town player has since concentrated on boosting his future Wales hopes by performing well for his new club Barnsley.

"It was incredibly frustrating, with hindsight as well, at how well the lads did," he said.

"I was incredibly proud of the boys and how impressive they were at the Euros. I was gutted, but that's football. Unfortunately that was part and parcel of the game.

"But I picked my head up and managed to get a move to the Championship and I'm just trying to improve. It hurt for a while. It took for the majority of that summer for me to get over it.

"I was watching all the games and cheering the lads on from afar, but it was invaluable experience for me to go away to Portugal although I didn't manage to train that much because of the injury, it's all experience that I've enjoyed and hopefully I can put it into good use in the future and hopefully one day I'll get an opportunity again."

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