Belfast Telegraph

Coleman imposes a Euro WAG ban on his Welsh stars

By Phil Blanche

The presence of players' wives and girlfriends, or WAGs as they are more commonly known, has been a thorny issue around major tournaments ever since England's 2006 World Cup campaign in Germany was somewhat overshadowed by the presence of Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole, Coleen Rooney and others.

And boss Chris Coleman is adamant that WAGs have no place at Wales' first major tournament in 58 years, at least during the initial segment of the finals in France.

That includes his own wife, the Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Coleman.

"We have three games and there will be no family, no girlfriends, no wives in our hotel in the first period of the group stage," said manager Coleman, whose squad will be based in the Brittany coastal resort of Dinard.

"We have three games in 10 days and there's no time, we are preparing, travelling, playing, travelling.

"We said let's get through the group because then there's a six-day period and we can have a day where we say it's OK to spend time with the family - and then, bang, we're at it again."

Wales will face Slovakia, England and Russia in the group stages of their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

The Dragons will head to France after a final friendly in Sweden on June 5 before opening their Euro 2016 campaign against Slovakia in Bordeaux six days later.

"It's no good us saying we are in camp for so long or complain about that," said Coleman ahead of Thursday night's friendly against Northern Ireland.

"We've been wanting to get there for so long. We have been desperate to get to a camp. If one of the players says they have a bit of cabin fever then good, we have waited long enough.

"Let's get through the group and then the players can have a day with their families and friends. We are out there to make sure we do Wales proud and to do that we have to prepare properly."

Coleman, however, has promised his players some downtime during their stay in France. This could take the form of a beach walk along Dinard's picturesque promenade or even nine holes at a nearby golf course.

"It's all right if they pop into Dinard for a cup of coffee and bump into friends and family, but in terms of the hotel itself, no," said Coleman.

Belfast Telegraph


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