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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Davies 'can rival Giggs'
Simon Davies at full stretch against the Azzurri
Davies' work rate is second to none, says Fry

Simon Davies is the best thing to come out of Wales since Ryan Giggs, according to former manager Barry Fry.

Fry was responsible for bringing Davies to Peterborough where he played a total of 88 matches before signing for Tottenham.

And, since moving to White Hart Lane, the 23-year-old has become an established figure in the Premiership and for the Welsh national side.

After Davies scored the opening goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Italy, Fry said: "There's a new wave of enthusiasm and confidence sweeping through the Welsh team and Simon Davies has had a major part to play in that.

"Mark Hughes [Wales manager] has said, and I have to agree, that Simon is the best thing to come out of Wales since Ryan Giggs.


I can see Simon Davies taking over from Ryan Giggs and becoming one of the great Welsh players
Barry Fry

"The fact that Simon has scored in his last three internationals against quality opposition is absolutely fantastic particularly against Italy who have been world champions in the past.

"I think Simon is a world-class player."

Davies was bought by Tottenham for 700,000 in a joint bid for Peterborough team-mate Matthew Etherington, during the 1999/2000 campaign.

Last season he was named Welsh footballer of the year and was an integral part of Spurs' Premiership efforts.

But Fry is not surprised by the player's meteoric rise.

"I said a long time ago he would go to the top in both the Premiership and at international level," he added. "I'm delighted to see that come through."

Welsh football is enjoying a resurgence, the national side having not lost a match for a year and currently topping their qualification group for the European Championship.

Wales manager Mark Hughes
Hughes has been impressed by Davies

And Fry insisted that Davies, who he tipped to pass the 100-cap mark at international level, was as integral to that as Giggs.

He continued: "I think Ryan Giggs has been absolutely fantastic for Wales and I can see Simon Davies taking over from Ryan and becoming one of the great Welsh players."

Fry, who is in his seventh season as Peterborough manager, highlighted Davies' work rate, attacking flair and his intelligence as the major secrets to his success.

"He's got a tremendous engine," he added.

"He can pass it short and pass it long, makes great runs and leaves his markers astray.

"And there's still plenty more to come."

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