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Outstanding achievement of Wales U16s celebrated at the Senedd

The team made history in November when they beat Northern Ireland in the final match, having already beaten England and Scotland, becoming the first Welsh team to win the competition outright since 1949.

The victorious 1949 team included Len Allchurch, who went on to win 11 caps and was part of the Wales squad at the 1958 World Cup.

They have also been heralded by Gareth Bale as ones to watch for the future and join other famous players, from Ian Rush to Gary Speed to Craig Bellamy, for who the Victory Shield was their first chance to shine on an international stage.

The Deputy Minister said:

“The team’s success in the Victory Shield meant we ended a fantastic year for Welsh sport on a real high. I’d like to congratulate the team on their historic achievement, there are many excellent players such as Mark Hughes, Ian Rush, Craig Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey, who have played in the tournament over the years and not achieved this level of success, and the team should be very proud.

“Success of this kind would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of those behind the scenes and Head Coach, Osian Roberts and his staff have been instrumental in ensuring the team won this prestigious competition.

“We have a strong track record in sport in Wales, but I want to see more people taking an active role in sport and reap the benefits this brings. As well as improving health, participation in sport can boost confidence and self-esteem.

“I hope that young people will be inspired by the teams magnificent success.”

Wales manager Chris Coleman said,

“This was a fantastic achievement by the squad. Osian Roberts and his coaching staff have enjoyed tremendous success and they fully deserve the accolades for all the hard work put in to developing these players.

“At international level we are in a good place at the moment. We are challenging in the European Championships and there are many talented Welsh players at all levels. The future looks bright.”

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