9:51pm Wednesday 9th October 2013
NEWPORT’S James Collins will return to the international fold after patching up his differences with Chris Coleman.
As reported in yesterday’s Argus, Coleman was unwilling to contact the West Ham defender, despite being without SIX recognised defenders for the World Cup qualifying clashes with Macedonia and Belgium.
However, it is understood Collins contacted Coleman and the pair met yesterday for clear the air talks.
“Following face to face meetings this afternoon between Wales Manager Chris Coleman and James Collins, the experienced West Ham defender has been called up into the Wales squad to face Macedonia and Belgium.
“Collins took part in a full training session at the Vale of Glamorgan training complex this afternoon,” an FAW statement read last night.
Wales have also added 16-year old Liverpool man Harry Wilson to their ranks.
Meanwhile, striker Craig Bellamy has lifted the lid on why he’s decided to quit the international stage.
Bellamy will bow out of the international scene once these qualifiers are finished, having represented Wales 78 times.
However, he admits he hasn’t given the significance and emotion of the games any thought.
“It’s another big week, important that we start well, Macedonia is the most important game,” he said.
“I don't know if it'll be emotional for me, my focus is on winning the game against Macedonia and look, players come and go and my career, it's definitely come and gone.
“I've got over 70 caps but I should have 140 odd, I'm just honoured for every game I've played, it will be hard to let go.
“It's been the best, even the disappointments, the lows, the times I didn't want to play again because it can totally demoralise you, when we couldn't compete, that's hard to live with, when we've not been able to lay a glove on someone.
“There have been a lot of games and a lot of regimes like that and it hurts more than anything else in my career.
“But the honour of playing for Wales is still the best, it'll hit me more when I'm not there, but I have to do what's best for the national team and that's about the new group of players and looking to the future.
“I still don't want to retire now, but sometimes you need to do what's right and this is a different group, it really is.
“The talent is there, I'd like to see the way we are playing tweaked a little bit, but two years ago we were the most improved team in world football, the talent is there and we have to prove it.
“It's the FA, it's everything to do with us as a nation, and we must do more.”
Bellamy also dismissed suggestions that the mass of Wales withdrawals draws into question anyone’s commitment to the cause.
“The younger players do have the same commitment to Wales as me and my generation, despite the withdrawals we've had,” he said.
“There is no two ways about that. The injuries at the moment are genuine, we've seen them. Bale has always been ridiculously committed, Gary Speed put that in place, and the players want to be around the group even when we've had a few injuries.
Everyone is part of the group.”
Newport’s Chris Gunter added his voice to those praising Arsenal’s in-form Aaron Ramsey.
Gunter and Ramsey are close friends, even sharing a flat when Gunter played for Arsenal’s bitter North London rivals Spurs.
"What has happened with Aaron in the last year or two sums about football in general,” Gunter commented.
“People are quick to build you up and quick to write you off and people want to build you back up again. Certainly he hasn't improved I don't think a lot.
“He was the same player last year but people are quick to write you off and dismiss you.
“He has done what all good players do which is come back and prove people wrong.
“He has been brilliant and he deserves to be player of the month because he has been the best player in the league.
“A midfielder scoring that many goals and his club are top of the league and he is the main reason they are there.
“He deserves it; he has been playing really well.
“He has added goals but the way he has been playing and driving them forward has been brilliant.
He has done really, really well.”
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