by Ashley Williams
‘For as many years as I can
remember the talk has been of Wales having a young group of
players with the potential to end the qualification drought.
Even when I first came into the team in 2008, there had been
talk of a golden generation that were going to change history.
It was easy to see why with talents like Gareth Bale and Aaron
Ramsey coming through and many others. This current group has
lived up to its potential and it will be a proud moment for me
when I lead them out at the European Championship Finals in June
scenes of ecstasy on and off the pitch in Bosnia in October
2015, as players and supporters of the Wales national football
team celebrated qualification, on merit, for a major finals for
the first time in its history, were repeated in the pubs, clubs
and on the streets of Wales as the nation toasted a success many
thought they’d never see.
cursed by decades of perpetual near-misses and gut-wrenching
tragedy, a golden generation of talented, committed and
well-drilled players, united in an intensely close-knit squad and
supported by an ambitious
FAW, had taken Wales to the finals of Euro 2016 and into a
‘top ten’ FIFA world ranking.
the definitive history of an incredible decade when, after the
play-off failure against Russia in 2003, a talented group of
young players were brought together by John Toshack and Brian
Flynn, made to believe by Gary Speed and honed by Chris Coleman
to create the most successful qualification campaign in Welsh
With behind-the-headlines details and exclusive insights from those who were there, including the likes of Chris Gunter, Neil Taylor, Joe Ledley and captain Ashley Williams – as well as the candid thoughts of Toshack on his role and manager Coleman's most revealing interview yet – the award-winning journalist Chris Wathan combines analysis and emotion to provide the inside story of how a new generation rose to tell the greatest tale Welsh football has ever told.
the award-winning Football Correspondent for Media Wales, which
includes the Western Mail, Wales on Sunday and
Welsh Sports Hall of Fame ‘Journalist of the Year’ in 2014
and the Wales Media Awards ‘Sports Reporter of the Year’ in
2015, he is regarded
as one of the most respected
writers on the game in Wales and was one of the few journalists
to cover every step of Wales' successful Euro 2016 campaign
having reported from close to 100 Wales games since 2002.