9:25am Thursday 1st May 2014
By Andrew Penman
WALES manager Chris Coleman says next month’s friendly in Holland is a chance for his squad to get used to playing top class football in the summer months.
The national manager is optimistic about his team’s chances of qualifying for Euro 2016 in France and is hoping Wales could be playing at a packed Millennium Stadium at Euro 2020.
Coleman is therefore treating the June 4 friendly in Amsterdam seriously as he builds up to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, which begin in September in Andorra.
“We’ll go there with a strong squad because top players play tournament football in the summer and the next June we’ve got Belgium in the qualifier.
“I’ve always said that when we get the chance to play friendly games let’s get the hardest competition we can get because that’s how we learn.
“They don’t come harder than Holland. Some people look at it as daunting but I look at it as a fantastic opportunity because we’ve got to get used to playing in the summer.”
Coleman is fully behind the Football Association of Wales’ bid to host Euro 2020 matches, which was unveiled at the Millennium Stadium yesterday.
“Six years is a long time and a lot can happen in that time but I think Welsh football is on the up,” he said.
“If we can qualify (in 2016) we can put Wales on the map and hopefully carry that on to 2020.
“Something like this, if we did get it, would create a fantastic domino effect and create a superb legacy for future generations.”
And Coleman is also delighted for star man Gareth Bale after he helped Real Madrid to the Champions League final on Tuesday night.
“The more of our players who are playing at the top level the easier the transition is to competing on the international stage,” said the Wales boss.
“I was watching Baley for Real Madrid and it is fantastic that we’ve got a Welshman, who is who is one of the best players in the world, in the Champions League final.
“And if he ends up coming back to Cardiff for the Super Cup with Madrid in August it will be fantastic.
“People doubted him because they looked at the fee of £86m and thought nobody’s worth that,” he added.
“If they’d lost the other night and not got to the final it might not have been deemed a successful season and if they don’t win the final the same.
“But in the crucial moments he’s made the difference and that’s why I think they’re happy with him.”
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