MAESGLAS teenager Joe Baston is dreaming big when it comes to his football future after breaking into the Wales team at schoolboy level.

Baston, who is 18 this month, starred in a 0-0 draw with Austria in January and is now heading to Rome for games against Italy and Azerbaijan.

And the Wales U18 schoolboys striker would love to one day be representing his country as a full-blown senior international.

He said: “I look at someone like Keiffer Moore and I see a lot of similarities between myself and him.

“He’s a big striker, like me, and he wasn’t really on the radar of international football and got called up, and he has done an outstanding job for us.

“Everyone would love to play for their country, and you know the Welsh national team are looking for young Welsh lads to come in and showcase the talents that they have.

“Since I was little, I have always wanted to be a professional footballer and I have worked hard to get myself into a position where that dream could become a reality.

“Now that I am on the international stage, the steps are in place to hopefully go on and do that.”

Commenting on his Wales U18 schoolboy debut, he added: “To play international football is an honour.

"You don’t take moments like that for granted.

“It was a bit daunting, getting to know the lads and their styles, but the surroundings were very professional and I just loved it.

“We drew 0-0 but it was a good result against a very strong team.”

Baston currently plays in the Community & Education Football Alliance (CEFA) League, where he can achieve his education goals while playing for his local club.

The youngster, who has come through the Newport County CEFA ranks, has nothing but praise for the competition and says he wouldn’t have had the opportunities he has without joining the course.

“There are a lot of opportunities that come out of playing in the CEFA League, especially with the link with County in the Community as well,” he said.

“The people behind the scenes want the best for you and they are top class.

“If I didn’t come on the course, I wouldn’t have all these opportunities with the Welsh schools and going off to America later this year to play football out there full-time.

“We missed out on the league title last season by a couple of points and it looks like we’re going for a league and cup double this season, which is promising.

“The education side of it as well is first-class.

"Obviously if things don’t work out on the footballing side for whatever reason, you still come out with an equivalent of three A-levels – you always have those to fall back on if needs be.”