DEFENDER Regan Poole insists everyone in the Wales Under-21 squad believes qualification for the European Championships in 2019 can be achieved.

Rob Page’s side set off on the road to the finals in Italy and San Marino this evening when they begin their Group 8 campaign away to Switzerland (6pm).

They then head west next Tuesday for a clash with Portugal – Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Liechtenstein are the other teams in Wales’ qualifying pool.

Former Newport County AFC ace Poole, who is on loan at Northampton Town from Manchester United, says the Welsh set-up is confident they will get out of the group.

And he reckons a lot of that is down to the experience that several of Page’s ranks, including Poole himself, picked up playing in the Toulon Tournament this summer.

The Wales Under-20 side won one and drew two of their round-robin matches and were unlucky not to go into the knockout phase of the competition in France.

“We had a good team in Toulon and did pretty well, and we were pretty unlucky over there,” said the 19-year-old. “Hopefully we’re looking to carry that on in these two games.

“We’re all excited and can’t wait to get started. It’s good to be back with the boys again and we’re confident, we’re always confident.

“As I said, we were unlucky in Toulon and hopefully our luck has to change somehow – hopefully it’s in this tournament.

“There are a few tough teams in it but every international game is tough.

“Whoever you play against, whatever nationality, every game is tough because international football is completely different to league football.

“Portugal and Switzerland will be tough but we all believe we can qualify and get out of the group.”

He added: “The quality in team, the belief, the determination, it’s always the same, every camp it’s the same.

“We all believe that we’re good enough to qualify out of the group and everyone believes in each other.

“And the team we have here is good, it always has been through the age groups.

“We’ve been pretty unlucky over the years but this time I think our luck will change and these two games will show it.

“There are a lot of us in this under-21 squad that was also in that under-20 Toulon squad.

“Hopefully we can take what we did over there into this because we all learnt a lot playing against the likes of France and the Ivory Coast.

“We had two draws and a win and we should have qualified, but we didn’t at the end of the day and we fell a bit short, but the experience is going to help us all.”

Someone not in the under-21 squad for these first two qualifiers is Ethan Ampadu, the 16-year-old signed by Chelsea in July.

Instead, the defender, son of former Swansea City midfielder Kwame, is a part of Chris Coleman’s senior squad for World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Moldova.

Like Poole, Ampadu has moved to one of the game’s biggest clubs, and the former knows through personal experience how tough it can be at such a young age.

“He did it at a similar age to me,” said Poole. “Sixteen is a tough age to move away from home. I struggled and I’m pretty sure he will.

“When you’re 16 you’re still not an adult, you’re still a kid, and moving home and leaving your family and friends is tough.

“Whoever you are, it’s going to be tough. Professional footballers are always moving away at 16 and it’s something you have to do.

“Some players don’t have to do it, they can live at home, but if a move like that comes along you can’t turn it down.”