Five Swans selected for Wales U21 squad to face Belgium

Cymru Under 21 manager Paul Bodin has named an 18-man squad to face Belgium in next week’s UEFA U21 EURO 2021 qualifying round match in Leuven.

Five of the Bodin’s squad are from the Swans, as Joe Lewis, Liam Cullen, Dan Williams and Oliver Cooper, join Brandon Cooper who is currently on-loan at Newport County, in the chosen 18-man squad.

Four players in Bodin’s squad have received their first U21 callups. Ryan Astley, Joe Adams, Sam Bowen and the Swans very own Dan Williams were originally part of the U19 side that were due to play in the U19 EURO 2020 Elite Round which has now been postponed until November.

Wales U21 team v Bosnia & Herzegovina U21
ZENICA, BOSNIA – 04 SEPTEMBER: Team Line up during the Bosnia & Herzegovina U21 v Cymru U21, UEFA U21 EURO 2021 Qualifying Round Fixture (Pic by Owain Harris/FAW)

The new faces will be part of an experienced U21 squad featuring regulars Regan Poole, Liam Cullen and Brandon Cooper amongst others. Following his U21 debut last month in a 1-0 defeat against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luke Jephcott misses out due to injury while Terry Taylor and Harry Clifton are unavailable as a result of being in isolation following a positive coronavirus test at their club.

If selected for the game, Swansea’s Cullen will win his 10th Under-21 cap, with Brandon Cooper in line for his 7th and Oliver Cooper his 4th. Joe Lewis and Dan Williams will be hoping to make their Wales debuts at Under-21 level.

The match will be Cymru’s sixth game in the UEFA U21 EURO 2021 qualifying campaign. Cymru currently sit in fourth place after two wins and two draws, four points behind group leaders Belgium.

A change in format to the qualifying round due to the COVID-19 pandemic now means the nine group winners and five best runners-up will be joined by hosts Hungary and Slovenia in the finals, with no play-off route. The finals will consist of a group stage of four groups of four from 24 to 31 March 2021, from which the four group winners and four runners-up will then qualify for the final tournament which will be played as a straight knockout final eight, from 31 May to 6 June 2021.

The full squad is as follows:

Adam PRZYBEK (Ipswich Town)
George RATCLIFFE (Cardiff City)
Cameron COXE (Solihill Borough)
Brandon COOPER (Newport County- On loan from Swansea City)
Regan POOLE (Milton Keynes Dons)
Joe LEWIS (Swansea City)
Ryan ASTLEY (Everton)
Morgan BOYES (Fleetwood Town- On loan from Liverpool)
Liam CULLEN (Swansea City)
Dan WILLIAMS (Swansea City)
Aaron LEWIS (Lincoln City)
Sam BOWEN (Cardiff City)
Mark HARRIS (Cardiff City)
Siôn SPENCE (Crystal Palace)
James WAITE (Cardiff City)
Oliver COOPER (Swansea City)
Ryan STIRK (Birmingham City)