Chris Coleman: Crystal Palace rise will boost Wales team

Jonathan Williams

Wales manager Chris Coleman says Crystal Palace's rise to the Premier League can boost his side.

Palace's promotion adds four Wales players to English football's top flight, including 19-year-old midfielder Jonathan Williams.

The squad also includes Danny Gabbidon, Lewis Price and Darcy Blake. Swansea's Jazz Richards was at the club on loan.

"There'll be a few of them involved with Palace... and that bodes well for Wales," said Coleman.

Former Palace defender Coleman now has a full team of Premier League players at his disposal, with Palace's contingent adding to a talent pool that also includes Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy of Cardiff City, Liverpool's Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal.

However, he would one day like to pick an 18-strong squad from Premier League talent, describing that scenario as "the ideal world".

Coleman added: "The Premier League is littered with international players and foreign international players - the best league in the world.

"So when the lads, if they're playing in that week-in, week-out and then they come with Wales and we're playing against the likes of Croatia Serbia and Belgium, they're equipped better to handle that situation.

"Because it is a big leap from the Championship straight into international football."

Coleman says teenager Williams is "only going to get better".

However, Coleman is frustrated that Wales do not have a friendly in June, unlike many other international teams.

But he admits his players will benefit from a longer rest than many of their rivals following the 2012-13 season.

Wales return to action on 14 August when they host the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Cardiff City Stadium.

World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium follow for Wales in October, 2013.


Team: Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), James Collins (West Ham United), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Ben Davies (Swansea City), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City), Joe Allen (Liverpool), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Jack Collison (West Ham United) Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur).

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