Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Euro 2016 can't be the peak for Wales: Chris Coleman

Wales manager Chris Coleman believes simply reaching Euro 2016 will not be enough for Welsh football.

Coleman will lead Wales at their first major tournament for 58 years and while his contract talks to take Wales into the 2018 World Cup campaign remain ongoing, he is very much looking towards the future.

"Qualification must not be a one-off. If it is, then we haven't done our job properly," said Coleman.

"Everyone has dreamt about going to a tournament, but now we're in a place of power we've got to capitalise on it.

"The next generation is obviously going to come from grassroots, so the key is how do you cut through the levels and produce better coaches and better players."

Wales have not graced a major finals since John Charles and company qualified for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

That long wait will end in France this summer with England, Slovakia and Russia their group opponents, but Coleman insists Euro 2016 must represent the start for Wales and not the end of the process.

"We've got a great opportunity to really take it on and rather than qualifying once every 50 years we should be doing it a lot more," he said.

"We've got to be up there consistently producing good players to fit into the system."

Belfast Telegraph