HAVING been snubbed by defenders Ryan Shawcross and Ben Turner last week, Wales manager Chris Coleman ran the rule over more potential new recruits this week, writes Andrew Penman.
Unfortunately none of the candidates impressed Coleman enough to make it into the squad for next week’s crucial World Cup 2014 qualifier with Belgium at the Cardiff City Stadium.
National team sponsors Vauxhall arranged for the Wales press pack to be put through their paces by Coleman in a specially arranged training session.
In fact it was more like a jogging and hoofing session as assorted newspaper, radio and TV hacks huffed and puffed their way around the pitch at the Vale of Glamorgan hotel.
The national manager, more used to working with the multi-talented Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy and Gareth Bale, was thankfully very charitable in his assessment of how we did.
“I’m quite impressed, I thought you’d be even more useless than you actually were,” he concluded.
“You’re all on the standby list for the games against Belgium and Serbia – behind about 3,000 others!”
Having crumbled under the pressure and missed when it came round to my turn in the penalty shootout, my own personal highlight was setting up a diving header for the South Wales Evening Post’s
finest with a beautifully flighted cross from the left wing.
I informed Coleman that I was available if Bale picks up an injury between now and next week.
Sadly, his reply was not suitable to be printed in a family newspaper.