WALES manager Ryan Giggs admits that Gwent striker Christian Doidge is “on the radar” as he prepares to name his squad for upcoming friendlies against Austria and the USA.

Newport-born Doidge, who was raised in Cwmbran, has been in fine form for Scottish giants Hibernian this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions and that could earn him his first international call-up.

Wales host Austria in Swansea on March 27 and the USA in Cardiff on March 30 as they step up preparations for Euro 2020.

And, asked about Doidge’s form, Giggs told “He’s someone who I looked at actually 18 months ago.

“I went to watch him at Bolton and he came on with 10 minutes to go, which has been the case a lot of times.

“He’s someone who, obviously, is scoring goals. He was at Forest Green, Bolton and started in the Welsh leagues.

“When you have a goalscorer, it doesn’t matter what level, they know where the back of the net is.

“He’s someone who we’re looking at closely over the next few weeks, obviously with the games coming up.”

A prospective call-up would mark a remarkable rise for a player who almost packed in football altogether.

Doidge briefly stepped away to play basketball for his country after being released by Bristol Rovers but resumed his footballing career with Cwmbran Celtic.

South Wales Argus:

He later played for Croesyceiliog, Barry Town United and Carmarthen Town before moving to the English non-league with Dagenham & Redbridge after a brief trial with Newport County AFC.

Giggs says an international call-up for Doidge would inspire players in the Cymru Leagues and in non-league in the English system.

“The message it sends out is that you can go to Welsh League clubs and still get to the top,” added the national manager.

“Jamie Vardy is a prime example of a player who has played in the lower leagues and has then gone on to win the Premier League and win caps for his national team.”

South Wales Argus:

Doidge spoke about his international ambitions earlier this month and he admitted it was a major factor in him heading for the Scottish Premiership last summer.

"When I sat down and decided where to go, one of the big reasons was to try and get in the window for an opportunity to play for Wales," he told S4C's Mwy o Sgorio.

"Obviously by scoring goals, you're going to get a little bit of an interest. I know how hard it's going to be to break into that squad and all I can do is work really hard and try and impress the manager somehow.

"I was a Man Utd fan growing up and I had Giggs on the back of my shirt – he's someone I really looked up to as a kid and now he's manager of the national team which is really good."

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