Chris Coleman: Wales boss 'under no pressure' to cap youngsters

Ethan Ampadu
Ethan Ampadu's father, Kwame, was also a professional footballer
2018 World Cup qualifiers: Georgia v Wales
Venue: Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tblisi Date: Friday, 6 October Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales boss Chris Coleman says he feels "under no pressure" to cap English-born pair Ethan Ampadu or David Brooks.

Coleman believes the call-up of Brooks for Wales' World Cup qualifiers, will cause "one or two ripples" in England.

Ampadu and Brooks could both follow in the footsteps of England-born Ben Woodburn in making their Wales debuts in this qualification campaign.

"It is another feather in the cap of our system," Coleman explained.

"I think the connection has always been there. David's obviously shown great promise for some years."

Brooks' selection prompted England manager Gareth Southgate to promise to "have a look" at the reasons Brooks' chose Wales.

The Sheffield United player starred for England at the Toulon Tournament for under-20 teams this summer, having earlier withdrawn from the Wales squad also competing in France.

Brooks switched back to Wales in accepting an U21 call-up in September and Southgate believes he is now lost to England.

David Brooks
Sheffield United's David Brooks was praised for his performance in the Sheffield derby against Wednesday

International football a 'complex world'

"I like him, I've seen him play, but at the moment, it is difficult for him to be in our senior squad," Southgate told BBC Sport.

"We will look at the process of why he was with us in Toulon and then with Wales in September, because that is something we need to get right.

"I think in our U16s, something like 60% of the players have the possibility of playing for another country, because they have dual-nationality.

"It is a complicated and complex world with international football and you can't always promise players matches all the way through the system.

"Therefore, inevitably, you are going to lose one or two players."

Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte

Conte happier than Klopp

Wales boss Coleman says he was pleased that Antonio Conte said he was "proud" of 17-year old Chelsea-signing Ampadu being called up for Wales.

That is in contrast to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who initially showed some reservation about 17-year old Liverpool winger Woodburn's selection.

"It helps if you have played international football and understand what it is all about.

"When I read Conte's comments I felt he put it all really well how he said it and it is true," Coleman said.

"If you are good enough as a young player then why shouldn't you be involved?

"I can see the players don't belong to us and are not contracted to us and international football is a choice - you either want to do it or you don't want to do it.

"But if you have played it you understand the importance of it and the honour of it.

"I wasn't surprised by Antonio's comments, of course they were welcome and it made total sense to me.

"I think Jurgen was probably looking at Ben and thinking he wasn't ready.

World Cup Qualifying Group D

"He was honest in his assessment. But my point was he has been in the Liverpool squad and scored on his debut at Anfield.

"I look at him in our younger teams like how I look at Ethan Ampadu.

"I think the acid test is when they come and train with us.

"Training is not playing with us, I know, but you see certain signs and whether they can step up or not.

"All the signs for us with Ben were good signs and certainly in his first few caps with us I think we were right in assuming he was ready to come and play a part for us."

After playing Georgia in Tblisi on 6 October, Wales face a potential showdown for second place with the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Monday, 9 October.

Wales squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Chris Maxwell; Defenders: Ben Davies, James Chester, Neil Taylor, Chris Gunter, Tom Lockyer, Ashley Williams, Ethan Ampadu; Midfielders: Joe Allen, David Edwards, Andy King, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, Jonathan Williams, David Brooks; Forwards: Gareth Bale, Marley Watkins, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence, Ben Woodburn.

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