By Paul Jones
Rubin Colwill – Cardiff City’s 19-year-old midfielder – has been included in Wales’ Euro 2020 squad after just 191 minutes of senior football.
Colwill is the surprise name in a 26-man squad skippered by Gareth Bale and containing the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James, Ethan Ampadu and Joe Rodon.
There are eight survivors from the group which reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals in France – Bale, Ramsey, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Danny Ward, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams and Wayne Hennessey.
But it is the selection of Colwill, who began the season playing academy football and did not make his senior Cardiff debut until February, that will raise the eyebrows.
Neath-born Colwill has made just six Cardiff appearances, with just over three hours under his belt in the Sky Bet Championship for Mick McCarthy’s Bluebirds.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he’s come in,” said caretaker manager Robert Page of Colwill.
“He really impressed me. He’s got presence, he’s got something we have not got in the middle of the park as well.
“He can play off the right, play as a 10 and he can play in midfield so that’s a bonus when we were looking to pick a squad.
“He blew us all away with how he was and how he conducted himself. He’s a top professional already and a great lad to have around the place.”
As expected, Hal Robson-Kanu – released by West Brom last week – missed out after being left out of the recent training camp.
Derby forward Tom Lawrence and Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo were also overlooked, with Swansea’s Ben Cabango selected ahead of Luton central defender Tom Lockyer.
Page will take charge of Wales in Ryan Giggs’ absence as they bid to emerge from Group A at this summer’s tournament and reach the knockout stages again after progressing to the last four in 2016 under Chris Coleman.
Gareth Bale, who scored six times in seven appearances during Tottenham’s run-in at the end of his loan spell at the club from Real Madrid, will captain the squad.
Wales start their Euro 2020 campaign against Switzerland in Baku on June 12 before playing Turkey in the Azerbaijani capital four days later. They complete their Group A fixtures against Italy in Rome on June 20.
Wales squad for Euro 2020
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Daniel Ward (Leicester City), Adam Davies (Stoke City)
Defenders: Chris Gunter (Charlton Athletic), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) Connor Roberts (Swansea City), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Joe Rodon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Lawrence (FC St Pauli), Neco Williams (Liverpool), Rhys Norrington-Davies (Sheffield United), Ben Cabango (Swansea City)
Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Jonathan Williams (Cardiff City), Harry Wilson (Liverpool), Daniel James (Manchester United), David Brooks (Bournemouth), Joe Morrell (Luton Town), Matthew Smith (Manchester City), Dylan Levitt (Manchester United), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City)
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City), Tyler Roberts (Leeds United)