NEWPORT County AFC striker Momodou Touray is hoping to take another big step in his career this weekend by earning his first start for Wales under-21s, writes Andrew Penman.

The 19-year-old was named Welsh Premier League young player of the year last week following a successful season on loan at Barry Town United.

Touray scored 14 goals and helped Barry to seal a return to European competition next season with a third-placed finish behind The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads.

He won his first cap at under-21 level as a substitute against Switzerland at Rodney Parade last October.

And before he returns to County for pre-season training, he’s hoping to earn a first start for the under-21s as they play two friendly matches in Albania on Sunday and Tuesday.

“These are big games for me,” said Touray.

“Albania are a strong team. They’re good in possession and out of possession and it will be a good test.

“Hopefully I can make my full debut and get some good experience to bring back to Newport.

“I got 10 minutes on my debut at Rodney Parade, which was good because my family were all there to see it and it was a great chance to show what I can do on my home turf.

“To get that cap for Wales under-21s was 100 per cent the pinnacle of my career so far. I’ve worked hard for years for that and it was brilliant for me.”

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Touray, who turns 20 in July, was born in the Gambia but raised in Newport on Chepstow Road.

He represented both Newport Corinthians and Villa Dino Christchurch before moving on to the Exiles academy via the County in the Community Futsal and Education programme.

Speaking about his WPL award, he said: “I was overwhelmed to win it because the two other candidates have been brilliant.

“I was shocked to win it, but I feel like I probably did deserve it after the season I’ve had.

“My aim was just to get some first team football under my belt. I didn’t think I’d get that much recognition, but I’m happy with how everything panned out.

“It was a very difficult first couple of weeks but we finished the season well. It’s been a great year.”

Read more: Momodou Touray excited to return to Newport County