Wales have included former England youth internationals David Brooks and Ethan Ampadu in their squad to face Georgia and the Republic of Ireland in next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
After convincing Chester-born Ben Woodburn to continue his international career with Wales, and being rewarded with a debut goal from the Liverpool youngster, Chris Coleman has now set his sights on more players with roots across the border.
Ampadu, signed by Chelsea from Exeter City in July, has played Under-19 football for Wales, while Brooks is a former England Under-20 international and has enjoyed a stunning start to life in the Championship at Sheffield United, playing a starring role in the 4-2 win at city rivals Wednesday last week.
Brooks was called up to Wales’ Under-20 squad for the Toulon Tournament in May, but switched to England when he was called up by the nation of his birth, going on to score twice in five games, enough to earn him Player of the Tournament as Neil Dewsnip’s side won the title.
Ampadu, 17, made his Exeter debut as a 15-year-old in last season’s EFL Cup and became Chelsea’s first player born in the 21st century to make a first-team appearance when he featured against Nottingham Forest in this season’s competition.
17y 6d – Ethan Ampadu is the youngest player to make an appearance for Chelsea since Michael Woods in Jan 2007 (also v Nottm Forest). Youth.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2017
Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell has also earned his first call-up.
Wales’ star names including Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen are all available for the final round of qualifiers for Russia 2018 as Coleman’s men attempt to at least hold on to second place in Group D.
They sit in the play-off spot before the final fixtures, but just a point ahead of Ireland, who will travel to Cardiff for an October 9 clash which could decide which of them stands a chance of making it to the tournament.
— Wales (@FAWales) September 28, 2017
Wales squad in full:
Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Liverpool), Chris Maxwell (Preston North End); Ben Davies (Swansea City), James Chester (Aston Villa), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Chris Gunter (Reading), Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers), Ashley Williams (Everton), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea); Joe Allen (Stoke City), David Edwards (Reading), Andy King (Leicester City), Joe Ledley (Derby County), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Jonathan Williams (Sunderland), David Brooks (Sheffield United); Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Marley Watkins (Barnsley), Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Tom Lawrence (Derby County), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
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