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Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 16:04 UK

Earnshaw urged for Wales revival

Rob Earnshaw
Robert Earnshaw hopes to prove an international point

Wales coach John Toshack has told recalled striker Rob Earnshaw to put a "disappointing" two years behind him and revive his international career.

Toshack has picked Earnshaw for the first time in six months in Wales' squad to play Georgia on 20 August.

"This is a chance for Earnie to put a disappointing two years behind him because he has gone backwards - he knows my feelings on it," said Toshack.

"He knows there are under-21 strikers ready to jump over his head."

Teenage stars Ched Evans and Sam Vokes have impressed for Wales' Under-21 team and have fired Brian Flynn's youngsters to the verge of the UEFA finals.

Both Manchester City ace Evans and Wolves summer signing Vokes will be in Flynn's Under-21 team to play Romania in a Uefa qualifier in Wrexham on the same night Wales' senior team play Georgia in an international friendly in Swansea.

606: DEBATE
Earnshaw won the last of his 39 caps against Germany last November and was an unused substitute in Wales' February friendly against Norway.

Toshack then dropped the 27-year-old forward Earnshaw, citing a lack of games for Premier League strugglers Derby County.

Now with captain Craig Bellamy injured, Toshack has been forced to recall Earnshaw following his 2.65m move to Championship new boys Nottingham Forest.

"I hope he gets a new lease of life," Toshack said before firing a shot over Earnshaw's bows.

"He knows about the threat of the Under-21 lads because we are looking to push Ched Evans and Sam Vokes up into the first team shortly.

"When I first became Wales manager I only had John Hartson, Bellamy and Earnshaw up-front, but now there's competition.

"I hope Earnie has had a good pre-season."

Toshack has also recalled Cardiff City striker Paul Parry after his 18-month self-imposed exile while he went through a divorce from his estranged wife Laura.

The last of Parry's 11 caps was against San Marino in March 2007 but the 27-year-old was instrumental in Cardiff's run to last season's FA Cup final.

"Paul needed a bit of time to sort out his personal problems which we understood," said Toshack.

"Now we're pleased to have him back in the Wales squad because he can play in a number of positions.

"And we felt that using a Bellamy and Parry partnership away from home with their pace would have been interesting due to the way we set up our team."

Steve Evans, meanwhile, could make post-war history and become the first non-League player to represent Wales for 78 years.

Toshack picked the Wrexham defender in his Wales squad for their Georgia friendly and if the Wales manager does hand Evans his seventh cap in Swansea, he will become the first non-League player to represent Wales since 1930.

Evans is still part of the Wrexham squad that was relegated from the Football League last season.

The 29-year-old centre-back is poised to follow in the footsteps of the so-called "unknowns" team that drew 1-1 with Scotland in Glasgow in October 1930.

That side of forgotten men included a host of youngsters and non-League players because the regular Welsh internationals were playing for English Football League clubs that day.

Cardiff City's legendary FA Cup-winning captain, Fred Keenor, led the team dubbed "Keenor and the 10 unknowns" that included Cardiff Corries player Fred Dewey, Emrys Ellis of Oswestry Town, Llanelli's Billy Collins and Johnny Neal of Colwyn Bay.

Evans has been picked in Toshack's squad for Wales' Georgia friendly but on Saturday he will play in Wrexham's Blue Square Premier opener against Stevenage Borough at the Racecourse Ground.

Toshack said: "Whenever Steve has been with us he has done very well.

"His attitude has been first class, I can't fault him for Wales."

Toshack's need to pick Evans is because his Wales squad is suffering from a central defensive injury crisis as West Ham pair Danny Gabbidon and James Collins and Derby County's Lewin Nyatanga are injured.

And teenage defender Chris Gunter will be on Wales Under-21 duty that night in their crucial Uefa qualifier at the Racecourse.

"The centre-back partnership is a big concern for me at the moment," acknowledged Toshack.

The Wales boss will be without Bellamy against Georgia as his star striker injured his hamstring playing for West Ham in a pre-season friendly at Ipswich Town on Monday.

Bellamy is now facing a race against time to be fit for Wales' opening 2010 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Fulham midfielder Simon Davies is expected to captain Wales in Bellamy's absence.


Wales squad to face Georgia in Swansea on 20 August:
Myhill (Hull), Price (Derby), S Evans (Wrexham), Morgan (Peterborough), Ricketts (Hull), A Williams (Swansea), Crofts (Gillingham), A Davies (Nottingham Forest), S Davies (Fulham), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Tudur Jones (Swansea), Koumas (Wigan), Parry (Cardiff), Robinson (Toronto), Stock (Doncaster), Vaughan (Blackpool), Earnshaw (Nottingham F), Easter (Plymouth), Eastwood (Coventry).


see also
Welsh FA monitors Georgia crisis
08 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Welsh stars set for Under-21 duty
04 Aug 08 |  Internationals


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