Before Dave Edwards pulls on the blue and white hoops, he’ll first be representing his country in two big fixtures.
Wales’ qualifying campaign for next summer’s World Cup is still very much alive – although while they are undefeated so far, five of their six games have ended in parity. They have ground to make up on Serbia and Ireland, who each sit four points clear with four games remaining. Next up – a home tie with Austria, before a trip to Moldova.
So Edwards, who will feature alongside Royals teammate Chris Gunter, knows that a lot hinges on this international period.
“These next two games are absolutely huge, and they will determine where we end up in the group,” Edwards said. “If we don’t get the results then the World Cup campaign is pretty much over. We’ve got a tough game against Austria, and then it’s always difficult going away to places like Moldova as well.
“But if we can get the six points, it will set us up for a thrilling end to the campaign. Hopefully we can get those points on board; it would be great for Wales to get to another major tournament.”
Edwards was involved in last summer’s remarkable exploits for Wales, who reached the Euro 2016 semi-final in France. But he’s hoping that that was just the beginning.
“It’s great to see how much the people of Wales have bought into it, and the scenes when we came back from France in the summer and all the people in Cardiff was something I never thought I’d see in my days in a Wales shirt,” he continued. “It is amazing that we’ve changed the way football is played in Wales and getting so many of the young kids into it.
“This campaign has been a bit stop-start with a lot of draws; in all of those games bar one we’ve been leading, and it has been disappointing to give away late goals. But we’re still very much in the group!”