American Josh Called Into Wales Football Squad

Josh Francombe, an American footballer from Sandy Springs in Georgia, is in the Wales under-16 squad for a Uefa Development Tournament in Greece.

Josh is the first American and Jewish American to play for Wales juniors and says: “It’s been a surreal experience for me.

“I didn’t think I’d ever be able to play at a national level. I’m just a kid from Sandy Springs.

“I never experienced that kind of pace and passion. It was a different level of speed and intensity. I have more confidence coming back.”

The Welsh under-16 squad will compete against hosts Greece, Russia and Slovakia in the Uefa group between Monday, February 19 and Friday, February 23.

Josh, who has a middle name of Emlyn, qualifies to play for the United States, England and Wales.

Josh Francombe (second from left) is joined by his brothers and parents, David and Stacie, for a Wales under-16 match.

His father, David, was born in England and raised in Wales where his Welsh parents still live. He moved to the USA to play college football.

Josh plays out of the Academy run by Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United

He attends Riverwood International Charter School for half the day and then trains with Atlanta from 2 pm five days a week. He completes his schoolwork through online classes.

Josh is in a 20-strong Welsh under-16 squad named by coach Robert Page. They will play in Agrinio and Emileon in Wales.

Goalkeeper Eli King, Rubin Colwil and Cavan Williams are the Cardiff City players included, while Swansea’s trio are Will Rickard, Bradley Gibbons and Josh Thomas.

Wales under-16 squad: Eli King (Cardiff City), Cian Tyler (Coventry City), David Robson (Hearts), Jack Madelin (AFC Wimbledon), Harvey Rew (Portsmouth), Josh Francombe (Atlanta United), Luc Noble (Bristol City), Joe Low (Bristol City), Jamie Taylor (Bristol City), Henry Nash (Stoke City), Chem Campbell (Wolves), Wil Rickard (Swansea City), Dan Malone (Stoke City), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Callum King Harmes (Wolves), Bradley Gibbings (Swansea City), Cavan Williams (Cardiff City), James Holmes (MK Dons), Will Russ (Chesterfield), Josh Thomas (Swansea City).

A number of the Welsh players going to Greece are also in the under-15 national squad going to Qatar at the end of this month for matches against Ajax and the Aspire Academy in Qatar at the end of this month.

One of those is Canadian goalkeeper David Robson, who plays at Scottish club Hearts.

David has been playing football since he was five-years-old, starting in England before his family moved to Fergus, Ontario in 2008 because of his father, Jeremy’s, work.

Five clubs in the English football pyramid gave David a trial and he eventually decided between Liverpool and Hearts.

The group will travel to the Middle East at the end of the month before playing the games in Doha over a five-day period.

Aspire are a Qatari-based coaching group.

Wales under-15 squad: David Robson (Hearts), Cian Tyler (Coventry City), Ollie James-Denham (Manchester United), Jamie Taylor (Bristol City), Corey Glaves (Sheffield Wednesday), Tivonge Rushesha (Swansea City), Vinnie Dwyer (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eli King (Cardiff City), Dan Malone (Stoke City), Chem Campbell (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Callum King-Harmes (Wolverhampton Wanderers) Owen Beck (Liverpool), Luke Rees (Hull City), Luke Motruk (Swansea City), Bradley Gibbings (Swansea City), Cavan Williams (Cardiff City).

Manager Mark Pike has named his Wales under-18 academy squad for the fixtures against the Republic of Ireland later this month.

The Welsh players are intent on reclaiming the John Coughlan Memorial Cup in the annual double-header.

Pike has named a 20-man squad ahead for matches on Tuesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 22.

The squad will get together this Sunday and will train at Liverpool FC’s Academy headquarters before flying to Ireland the following day.

Wales under-18 Academy squad: Alex Pennock (Aberystwyth Town), Lee Jenkins (Aberystwyth Town), Liam Doherty (Aberystwyth Town), Harri Horwood (Aberystwyth Town), Toby Vickery (Airbus Uk Broughton), Charlie Williams (Bala Town), Lewys Turner (Bala Town), Guto Williams (Bangor City), Geraint Jones (Bangor City), Callum Flynn (Barry Town United), Samuel Reynolds (Connah’s Quay Nomads), Charlie Hughes (Flint Town United), Alaric Jones (Haverfordwest County), Harri Jones (Llandudno), Christopher Craven (The New Saints), Robert Reynolds (The New Saints), Lewis Dutton (The New Saints), Callum Jones (The New Saints), James Parry (The New Saints), Tomos Williams (The New Saints).

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