ROLL on June 12!

The Wales football team's comprehensive 3-0 victory in Israel last weekend has the nation daring to dream that the decades-long wait for a place in the finals of a major tournament is nearly over.

Of course, caution is being advised by sceptical pundits, and I must admit that is the camp I usually fall into - but having seen the way Wales played in front of a largely Israeli crowd in Haifa, the way they went about not letting their opponents settle, the way they grew in confidence... well, let's just say that confidence is contagious.

And it is built on a growing realisation that, though Gareth Bale is far and away the best player in the squad, this is a group of players that works well together, that despite his being a vital component of the starting XI, he is not its sole motivator and creative spark.

By dint of a five-match unbeaten start to its Euro 2016 qualifying group, this Welsh football team is thus in the rare position of being in control of its own destiny at the campaign's halfway stage.

Interest off the pitch is usually waning by now, the management already talking cryptically of planning for the future, for the next qualifying campaign.

Instead, all eyes are on Cardiff in 10 weeks' time, and even if that doesn't go well, there remains all to play for because Wales' players have worked so hard to get themselves into the mix.

There is a downside to this otherwise positive situation however, and that is the venue for Wales v Belgium.

The Cardiff City Stadium is an adequate arena, albeit one of those identikit venues that you feel could be packed up and relocated elsewhere in a matter of weeks if the necessity arose.

Don't get me wrong - a sell-out 33,000 crowd will make a hell of a lot of noise, mostly directed at urging Wales on. The atmosphere will be electric.

Despite the optimism and anticipation however, I cannot help but feel that the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has missed a trick in not switching the match to the Millennium Stadium.

I understand the option was there but was ruled out because the current Wales squad has become more comfortable at the Cardiff City Stadium, which has been the home of the national team - a couple of trips to Swansea excepted - for several years.

In some ways, it is understandable that in a situation like this, one's instinct is to stick to what is familiar.

But these are, by and large, Premier League and Championship footballers, who week in, week out, ply their trade for their clubs at stadia the length and breadth of England and Wales, in atmospheres alternately adoring and hostile.

And if - no, let's continue to be optimistic, when - in a blaze of glory next autumn they qualify for the finals of Euro 2016, they face the prospect of playing in much bigger arenas than the Cardiff City Stadium.

My argument is fuelled at least in part by still vivid memories of fantastic occasions at the Millennium Stadium in the early 2000s, during the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, when Wales played in front of crowds of more than 70,000.

Having watched football for more than 40 years, in some fabulous (Camp Nou, Barcelona) and not so fabulous (Victoria Park, Hartlepool) stadiums, I can assert that the best atmosphere I have ever experienced was at the Millennium Stadium on October 16 2002, when Wales beat Italy 2-1, followed closely by the sadly unsuccessful play-off second leg against Russia at the same venue 13 months later.

These were high octane occasions where the cliche about the hairs standing up on the back of one's neck were proved true, magnificent sporting events, irrespective of triumph or defeat.

Of course, there has been a flipside involving the Millennium Stadium, in subsequently less successful years when nights at that arena were to be endured rather than enjoyed.

Wales v Paraguay (a 0-0 draw) on a chilly St David's Day evening in 2006 in front of 12,324 people were occasions when a move to a smaller stadium seemed a very good idea.

But Wales have the option to flexible based on the national team's fluctuating fortunes, and I have little doubt the FAW could have sold out the Millennium Stadium for the Wales v Belgium match, and allowed more than twice as many supporters to watch the match live.

Given however, that tickets were on sale, albeit only to people who signed up to priority offers, ahead of the Israel match, it seems the decision to stick with the Cardiff City Stadium had already been made.

I will be there on June 12 with my youngest son, the one not tempted over to the 'dark side' of rugby, for what should be a memorable evening.

I just hope that, come the autumn, when we applaud the sealing of Wales' qualification for Euro 2016, we will be sitting in Millennium Stadium seats.