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Talented goalkeeper called up for Wales under-17s
3:58pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
SHE may still be learning the national anthem but Carys Jones is a Welsh international footballer – and she has her dad to thank.
The talented goalkeeper made her Wales Under 17s debut last month due to the fact the her dad Ian was born just outside Cardiff.
Carys, who has played for Lammack-based Blackburn Community Sports Club since she was eight-years-old, played 45 minutes in a friendly fixture against Poland in Merthyr Tydfil.
Now she is hoping to be included in the Welsh squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualifying campaign.
The Runshaw College student, who used to go to St Wilfrid’s, was invited to attend a Wales Under 16s development squad training session after she played for Lancashire Schools.
But she impressed Welsh coaches some much she was immediately selected for the Under 17s squad.
“We went to the training session in Oswestry and the coaches said they didn’t want Carys for the development squad,” said Ian who is also a coach and a member of the committee at BCSC. “We were taken aback at first but then they said ‘sorry, you don’t understand, we don’t want Carys for the development squad, we want her to play for the Under 17s.”
Ian, who is from Mountain Ash on the outskirts of the Welsh capital, admitted he didn’t know if Carys was international material – and she felt the same.
“We weren’t sure about going at first,” he added. “I know Carys is very good goalkeeper but I didn’t quite now how good she was. Carys herself was a bit worried about going but she fitted in straight away and loved it.”
Ian payed tribute to BCSC goalkeeping coach Richard Marsh for helping his daughter flourish.
“Richard has worked with Carys since she was very young and it is down to him why she is so good.
“She is a great shot stopper and handles the ball well and that is all down to the hard work she has put in with Richard.”
While Carys was born in Blackpool and her mother is English, Ian admits he couldn’t help but feel proud when the Welsh national anthem was blasted out.
Now he is teaching Carys the words.
“It really gave me goosebumps when I saw her lining up and the anthem was playing. She was trying to sing the words but that is something we can work on!”
Ian said he doesn’t know what lies ahead for Carys with Wales but said that fact she has played at international level is something she should remember forever.
“Whatever happens now, Carys can always say she has played international footballer and that is something you can’t take away from her.”
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