Netherlands v Wales: Gareth Bale could be awarded captaincy in absence of Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams as Chris Coleman refuses to reveal stand-in skipper
Ramsey and Williams have been rested and Coleman has admitted that he knows who he will ask to lead the country out in Amsterdam
Friday 23 May 2014
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale could be handed the Wales captaincy for next month's friendly against Holland in Amsterdam.
Wales manager Chris Coleman is without international skippers Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams, who are both rested from the June 4 encounter.
And while Coleman is keeping his cards close to his chest about who will lead Wales against the World Cup-bound Dutch, it is thought that 24-year-old Bale is in pole position.
He has already won the Copa del Rey in his first season with Real, scoring a spectacular winning goal to defeat Barcelona, while he will be part of an all-Spanish Champions League final against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon on Saturday.
"I have got the captain, but he does not know it yet. He will know it soon," said Coleman, after naming a 23-man squad for the Holland clash.
"There will be another captain, and I will have that conversation with him."
Coleman believes the Dutch game will be "an invaluable experience" despite being without several key players.
Arsenal's FA Cup final hero Ramsey, Swansea captain Williams, Burnley's Sam Ricketts and West Ham defender James Collins are among the absentees, while reserve goalkeeper Boaz Myhill has confirmed his retirement from international football.
Coleman, though, has Bale at his disposal, while there is also a chance for promising uncapped young talent like Manchester United's Tom Lawrence and Hull defender James Chester.
"We have been building, doing well and picking up momentum and this is another game and another chance for us," he added.
"As an international manager, you want to climb the rankings, and to do that you need some results against some juicy teams.
"You can arrange friendly games against weaker opposition, and while it looks good that you've won a game, you don't learn a lot and you don't go anywhere in the rankings.
"We have tried to pick strong opposition, and they don't come much stronger than this one. It will be good for us.
"If we lose more (players), then we do. We have to get on with it, but the lads there will get the experience against a very good Dutch team going to the World Cup, and it will be an invaluable experience.
"Normally, I wouldn't take a game (on June 4), but it's Holland in Amsterdam. We took it also because this time next year we will be preparing for Belgium in a (European Championship) qualifier, so there are two reasons why we took the game."
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