After receiving a late call to the Welsh squad for their European qualifying matches in Turkey, Stone teenager Josh Williams earned three under-19 international caps in the space of a week.
Williams was in the starting line-up throughout the competition and is said to be ‘gutted’ after his side failed to qualify from Group 13 and so miss out on a trip to Finland to compete in the elite round alongside England under-19s next summer. Wales suffered an early set-back in Turkey when they lost to Slovakia 2-1 in their opener, before going down 2-1 to the hosts and 3-2 to Kazakhstan.
However, the Aston Villa second year youth team scholar will hope his international appearances will help to boost his chance of landing a professional contract with the club.
His father, Ben Williams, commented: “I spoke to Josh afterwards and he was gutted they didn’t get through. He said he thought they’d been robbed. I watched the game against Slovakia and came away saying they couldn’t afford to have lost it, especially having had so many chances. But that’s football for you. It’s been another great experience where he’s stepped up and played at a higher level. He was a late call-up and he can now look back and say he has three more international caps than he had a couple of weeks ago.”
Williams turned out for Wales under-15s but injury kept him out of the reckoning for the under-17s campaign. The former SGS student joined Villa’s youth set-up at the age of 10.