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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 March, 2004, 12:46 GMT
Margetson earns Wales call
Cardiff goalkeeper Martyn Margetson wins his first senior Wales call
Wales manager Mark Hughes has named his squad for the friendly against Hungary in Budapest on 31 March.

Cardiff goalkeeper Martyn Margetson is included for the first time and there is a recall for Gareth Roberts of Tranmere and Crewe's David Vaughan.

Another Cardiff player, Paul Parry, and Bournemouth skipper Carl Fletcher keep their places from the squad that beat Scotland 4-0 last month.

Leicester defender Ben Thatcher is set to make his Wales debut in Budapest.

The 28-year-old left-back, who won four England Under-21 caps, qualifies for Wales through a Welsh grandmother.

Thatcher has taken advantage of Fifa's change in rules that allows players capped at U21 level to switch international allegiance.

Ryan Giggs is also in the party despite the game in Hungary coming three days before Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final battle with Arsenal.

Cardiff goalkeeper Margetson is a surprise inclusion, although the 32-year-old won seven Under-21 caps.

But Margetson has impressed this season at Ninian Park and is keeping Scotland squad goalkeeper Neil Alexander out of the Bluebirds' first team.

I have had some good reports on Martyn this season
Wales boss Mark Hughes

The goalkeeper's good form, plus an injury to Nottingham Forest's Darren Ward, gives Margetson his chance.

"I have had some good reports on Martyn this season," Hughes said.

"He has got into the Cardiff side and done very well and he is keeping an international squad 'keeper out of the side.

"This gives me the chance to have a good look at him, as well as Gareth Roberts, who I have also brought back into the squad."

Roberts has impressed hugely as an attacking left-back in Tranmere's run to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Wrexham-born defender has four full caps and 10 under-21 caps.

"Gareth has done very well this season, particularly in the Cup run," Hughes added.

"He has high energy, wants to attack and can get back quickly to defend. He deserves his chance."

The left-back position has been problematic for Hughes in the past, with skipper Gary Speed often filling in there rather than taking his regular midfield place.

But with Thatcher available, plus the form of Roberts and Crewe youngster David Vaughan - who plays left midfield or left wing-back at Gresty Road - Wales suddenly have strength in depth.

Reading defender Adrian Williams is one of a number of injury doubts still named in the squad, while John Hartson, Mark Delaney and Rhys Weston are all omitted through injury.

  • Wales have moved up two places in the official Fifa World Rankings to 65th.

    They were helped by the friendly thrashing of the Scots but are still officially worse than their Celtic rivals, who are in 56th place.

    WALES SQUAD

    Danny Coyne (Leicester City), Mark Crossley (Fulham), Paul Jones (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Martyn Margetson (Cardiff City), Rob Edwards (Aston Villa), Carl Fletcher (Bournemouth), Danny Gabbidon (Cardiff City), Andy Melville (West Ham United), Robert Page (Sheffield United), Gareth Roberts (Tranmere Rovers), Kit Symons (Crystal Palace), Ben Thatcher (Leicester City), Adrian Williams (Reading), Darren Barnard (Grimsby Town), Simon Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Andy Johnson (West Bromwich Albion), Jason Koumas (West Bromwich Albion), John Oster (Sunderland), Paul Parry (Cardiff City), Mark Pembridge (Fulham), Carl Robinson (Portsmouth), Robbie Savage (Birmingham City), Gary Speed (Newcastle United), David Vaughan (Crewe Alexandra), Craig Bellamy (Newcastle United), Nathan Blake (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rob Earnshaw (Cardiff City), Gareth Taylor (Nottingham Forest).






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