Eardley shows mature side after drop to Wales juniors

Neil Eardley refused to sulk after he was parachuted into the Wales Under-21 squad for the double-header against Luxembourg. The Oldham full-back has nine senior caps, after progressing from a side which has produced a dozen players that are now in the senior squad.

But this week he found himself back with the juniors and produced an outstanding performance in Tuesday's group three European Championship qualifier in Llanelli

The 20-year-old opened the scoring in the 5-1 victory from the penalty spot, then produced two crosses that created goals. Eardley was initially selected for the senior squad but flown out to Luxembourg last Friday for the first meeting, which finished 0-0, to bolster coach Brian Flynn's squad, that included a batch of youngsters promoted from the under-19s.

Eardley's attitude won praise from Flynn, who said: "He never complained once. Neil is not the sort of lad to give anything less than 100 per cent, whatever team he plays for. He just wants to play for Wales, anywhere, any time. That shone through with a really strong performance in both games with Luxembourg."

The Llandudno-born defender said: "I'm not the sort of player who sulks about something like being moved from the senior squad to the under-21s at the last minute. I was flown out to Luxembourg when it was clear the seniors had enough players for the Finland game [on Saturday]. But I am happy to play for Wales anywhere, with any team. That's me; I am delighted to put on a Welsh shirt regardless. I want to play for my country – it means a lot to me.

"I've been around to see a lot of good young players come through the under-21s. Over the last few years, there has been a constant stream really. There have been people like Gareth Bale, Lewin Nyatanga and Chris Gunter – and I suppose me too – from the defence, and we have all played in the senior side. Now to see this latest batch of youngsters coming through is also very encouraging."

The Northern Ireland Under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole has praised Martin Donnelly's ability at set-pieces, after the winger changed the face of the friendly against Ukraine on Tuesday at Portadown. On as a substitute, his free-kick set up the equaliser for Chris Casement in the 1-1 draw.

Beaglehole said: "People talk about how football has changed, especially when you play against top players. But set-plays are still a massive part of the game, no matter what level you are at.

"If you have someone like Martin, who can deliver the ball into the area with that quality, you have half a chance of scoring. He made a big difference when he came on."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?