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Club News


5 November 2015

Club News


5 November 2015

Striker called up by Wales for the first time...

Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw has described his first senior Wales call-up as his ‘proudest moment in football’.

The prolific forward has been included in Chris Coleman’s 23-man squad for Wales’ international friendly against the Netherlands on Friday, 13th November.

The 23-year-old has played for Wales at both U17 and U21 level and was previously on the standby list for the senior side.

And Bradshaw, who is Walsall's nine-goal top scorer this season, was ‘over the moon’ to receive his first call-up.

“I was on my way to play golf with the lads and the gaffer called me around 9.30pm,” he said.

“I saw my phone ringing, noticed it was Dean Smith and thought ‘why is he calling me at this time?’

"A bit of panic set in and I was trying to think about what I’d done!

“But we had a chat and he told me I was in the squad. I was over the moon and couldn’t really concentrate on my golf for the rest of the day!

“I feel very proud because I’ve always wanted to be involved with Wales.

“The day I made my debut for the U19s, my dad and three of my uncles travelled to Liechtenstein to watch the game. That was a big achievement, as was playing for the U21s.

“To eventually get into the squad for the seniors is quite special for me, my family and all of my friends.”

Bradshaw arrived at the Banks's from Shrewsbury in June 2014 and has credited Walsall for making him the player he is today.

"Richard O'Kelly (assistant-boss) texted me to congratulate me on my call-up and I texted him back to thank him, the gaffer, Jon Whitney (physio) and everyone involved at the club," he added.

"I’ve come a long way in 18 months; I’ve developed physically and technically as a player, and the improvement in my all-round game has been phenomenal.

"I know I wouldn’t be in and around the Wales senior squad if it wasn’t for that move and I’m grateful to everyone at Walsall; they’ve helped me improve as a player and person."

Bradshaw will link up with the Wales squad next week and is eager to make a positive impression.

“I’m excited to meet Chris, the rest of the coaching staff and all the players,” said Bradshaw.

“From my first training session I’m going to do my best to impress.

"And if I get some minutes in the game (against Holland) then I’ll be doing everything in my power to impress and show them what I can do.

“Just being there will be an invaluable experience for me and it’ll be great to train with the calibre of players that we’ve got in the squad.

“It’ll be a brilliant experience and I’ll enjoy every second of it.”

Wales reached their first major finals in 57 years last month after finishing second in their Euro 2016 qualification group.

And Bradshaw would love to be involved in next summer’s finals.

“I think every Welshman who has got half a chance of being on that plane (for Euro 2016) will be doing everything they can to get in the squad,” he said.

“I’m no different. I’ll be doing everything I can with Walsall and Wales to show them that I deserve a seat and will try to impress as many people as I can.”

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