Wales’ Edwards hoping to be fit for Euro 2016

24 Mar

Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards

Dave Edwards joined Wolves in January 2008

Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards is still hoping to be fit for Wales duty at this summer’s European Championship.

The 30-year-old has been out for two months following surgery on a broken bone in his foot.

He was due to be out for 12 weeks, giving him little time to prove his fitness for Euro 2016 in France, but he is confident of making it, if selected.

“I’m still doing well and hoping to be be back to play a part before the end of the season,” he told BBC Sport.

“Hopefully I can play a few games in and then be selected for the Euros. It’s a tough ask but I’m hoping to be involved. It would be great for me and my family..

“It has been an amazing campaign. It’s great to have been part of that journey and it would be great to top it off by getting in that squad.”

Shrewsbury-born Edwards already has 31 caps to his name, five of which have come during Wales’ qualification campaign for their first-ever European Championship finals.

But, given the way Chris Coleman’s Welsh warm-up programme has worked out, if he is to make it across the Channel this summer to represent the Principality and play against England, the country of his birth, he will have to prove his fitness purely in a Wolves shirt.

The two forthcoming friendlies with Northern Ireland on Thursday, 24 March and Ukraine on Easter Monday are Coleman’s two main warm-up matches prior to picking his squad.

Wales’ only other planned warm-up game is against Sweden in June – six days before their Group B opener against Slovakia in Bordeaux on 11 June.

Wales on foreign soil

Wales’ trip to the World Cup in Sweden in 1958 remains the nation’s only ever appearance at a major finals.

Only two Midlanders, West Bromwich Albion full-back Stuart Williams and Aston Villa wing-half Vic Crowe – later to become Villa manager – were in that Wales squad.

But Wolves did have four players in the England squad in 1958, Peter Broadbent, Eddie Clamp, Bill Slater and the captain Billy Wright.

This time round, along with Birmingham City winger David Cotterill, Albion defender James Chester and Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw, there are four contenders from West Midlands clubs to get in Chris Coleman’s 23-man party.

If Edwards does make it, he would become the first Wolves player from one of the four home countries to play at a major finals since Steve Bull, then technically still a Third Division player, represented England at the Italia 90 World Cup.

The late Emlyn Hughes, England’s captain in 1980, remains Wolves’ only British player to have represented his country at the European Championship finals. But he did not play a game in that tournament, in Italy – and was on the bench for England’s three group games.

The club did have three players – Stephen Ward, Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle – in the Republic of Ireland squad at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.


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