Friday, 18 March 2016

Bale Out of Wales Friendly Squad


Gareth Bale has been left out of Wales' squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and West Ham defender James Collins are also absent from Chris Coleman's squad.

Coleman said Bale's absence was a joint decision between the Football Association of Wales and Real Madrid.

Wales host Northern Ireland in Cardiff on 24 March before travelling to Ukraine four days later.

Bale was also absent from the Wales squad that lost to the Netherlands in November, following correspondence with Madrid.

His availability for March was thought to depend on the impending birth of his second child.

Midfielder Andy King is also absent after missing Leicester City's win over Newcastle on Monday because of illness.

But Tottenham Hotspur defender Ben Davies is included despite suffering a head injury in Thursday's Europa League loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Davies joined Spurs from Swansea City in July, 2014

Fulham defender Ashley Richards comes into the squad in place of Newcastle's Paul Dummett, who picked up a hamstring problem in January.

Richards' Fulham teammate George Williams also comes into midfield in the absence of King and Wolves' David Edwards - who required surgery on a foot injury.

The other changes from Coleman's 24-man squad in November see Southampton's George Isgrove, Brighton's Andrew Crofts, Reading Hal Robson-Kanu and Birmingham City's David Cotterill all recalled to a now-26-man squad.

Coleman on Bale: "It was a joint decision. Real Madrid have been absolutely first class all the way along.

"They have never ever put an obstacles in our way, so equally we have to recognise that, if you look at the last couple of months, they have been tough for Gareth fitness-wise.

"And looking at the bigger picture it is all about the summer, making sure we have our strongest squad going into the tournament and, of course, he is part of that.

"So at this moment in time it suits both parties that he does not come. It is not just the games, it will be the travelling as well."

"Both parties feel it is right he stays where he is, works there, gets treatment, does everything he needs to do there. I think he will benefit from that between now and the end of the season."

Coleman on the relationship with Real Madrid: "We have worked as hard with Real Madrid as with any other club. Internationals do not belong to us. I have said that before.

"We have to make sure we look after them when we get them and we treat them properly because if you do not, you gamble with their fitness and down the line you are going to be punished for that.

"You cannot blame clubs for reacting if their player has been pushed too much and you have gambled with him if he is carrying an injury, he goes back to his club and he can't play for three or four weeks.

"We have never ever done that. We have never gambled,

"But to be fair to Madrid, myself and Osian Roberts, we went out there spent a few days there. I think they appreciated that. We certainly did."

Full Wales squad
Goalkeepers: Hennessey, Ward, Fon Williams.
Defenders: A Williams (c), Chester, Davies, Gunter, Matthews, Taylor, Henley, Richards.
Midfielders: Ledley, Allen, Vaughan, Huws, J Williams, MacDonald, G Williams, Isgrove, Crofts.
Forwards: Cotterill, Robson-Kanu, Lawrence, Church, Vokes, Bradshaw.


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