Belfast Telegraph

Wales v Neterlands: Starlet striker Tom Lawrence keen to sparkle with Wales

By Phil Blanche

Young Wales striker Tom Lawrence hopes manager Chris Coleman's faith in youth will carry him all the way to France next summer.

Lawrence made an impressive debut off the substitutes' bench last month as Wales celebrated Euro 2016 qualification with a 2-0 home victory over Andorra.

And now the 21-year-old could be set for his first start against Holland in Cardiff tomorrow night (7.45pm) with Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu both sidelined through injury and Sam Vokes troubled by a groin problem.

"If the manager decides to pick me I'll be ready to put on a shirt and give my all for the team," Lawrence said.

"Hopefully I can deliver if I am picked.

"I felt my performance against Andorra was good and players in this squad have shown before they can step in and do well when others are injured.

"Making the squad for France is always in the back of your mind, it would be massive for me and my family.

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"You've just got to perform as well as you can for your club and hopefully you'll be in contention for France."

Coleman was not afraid to give young players an opportunity in Euro 2016 qualifying as Wales finally ended an agonising 58-year wait to reach a major tournament.

Emyr Huws, Jonathan Williams and George Williams all featured in the campaign before Lawrence got his chance and produced a lively 45 minutes against Andorra.

"The manager has shown he is willing to get the young lads in, even if it's not playing games it's training with the squad," Lawrence said. "It's always a learning curve for young lads as well but it gives you belief you can make the squad.

"The manager and the lads - people like Ashley Williams, Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey - are always there to offer advice and give you a helping hand.

"You see that close team spirit in the group out on the pitch."

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