Ryan Giggs calls on Wales youngsters to grasp opportunity in California friendly

Ryan Giggs has challenged his Wales youngsters to impress against Mexico after losing senior players like Gareth Bale and Joe Allen.

Giggs is without several key individuals for the California friendly in Pasadena on May 28, with Real Madrid forward Bale and Liverpool pair Ben Woodburn and Danny Ward involved in the Champions League final a couple of days earlier.

Stoke midfielder Allen is also absent though injury, while Aston Villa duo James Chester and Neil Taylor are on Sky Bet Championship play-off final duty.

Giggs’ response to the lengthy list of absentees was to name an enlarged 32-name squad, featuring nine uncapped players, which will be trimmed before the party leaves for the United States next week.

“I want the best players, obviously, to be with us,” manager Giggs said.

“But I also want players to experience Champions League finals.

“Obviously Gareth’s done it before – and to win a fourth Champions League would be an unbelievable achievement – and you want to see your players do well.

“On the downside, you won’t be able to perhaps use them during the trip.

“So it’s a difficult one for me as a manager, but then it also gives an opportunity for other players.”

Giggs blooded several youngsters during his first games in charge at the China Cup in March.

And several more seem set to get another opportunity against World Cup-bound Mexico at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

Tranmere goalkeeper Luke Pilling, Cardiff defender Cameron Coxe, Swansea midfielder Dan James and Manchester City striker Matthew Smith are among those named in the senior squad for the first time.

“I’ve got a training camp at the moment with the lads who went to China and some of the under-21s,” Giggs said.

“It was an incentive for players to get on the LA trip, and I told them it’s their chance to shine and show us what you’ve got.

“Not all of them will go, but it gives the young lads the chance to get on that trip and be part of that game against Mexico.

“I was always keen to have that pathway and give them a chance because that’s what I got brought up with.”

Giggs had limited time with the squad ahead of the March games against China and Uruguay in Nanning.

But Wales will head early to Los Angeles next week and use the prestigious training facilities of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

“In China I had one-and-a-half training sessions before the first game,” Giggs said.

“I didn’t want that before my next game.

“I wanted a good climate and, recognising it’s the end of the season and lads want to get on holiday, so I wanted a decent environment.

“I’ve been to LA and the facilities are great, and at the end of it, it’s a really tough game against a team who are going to the World Cup.”

- Press Association

 

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