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Page last updated at 22:40 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 23:40 UK

Flynn proud of Welsh youngsters

Reading's Simon Church scored three times over the two legs
Reading's Simon Church scored three times over the two legs

Wales Under-21 coach Brian Flynn says he was proud of his side despite missing out on a place in next year's European Championships.

The youngsters lost 5-4 on aggregate to England after a 2-2 draw at Villa Park.

"Sad and disappointed is stating the obvious, but I think we take more out of the two games from a Welsh perspective," said Flynn.

"It's the closest we've been to a major qualification. To go and perform like they did, they've done really well."

He added: "I think we just edged it tonight. I thought it was a close game at Ninian Park but England took their chances.

"They caused havoc with their set pieces. Over the two legs, it was a close call.

"But the experience of playing big games against big players in front of big crowds can only boost confidence of the players."

Wales have not qualified for a major championship since 1958, but Flynn is optimistic about the future.

"The players don't surprise me what they keep doing," he added.

"We've got a lot of spirit and desire and passion and quality throughout.

"I've been working with this group for 18 months so I know they are capable of doing and the unexpected and they are set up to attack."

Reading striker Simon Church, scored twice in the first leg and got Wales' second goal on the night after Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey fired a superb 30-yard strike.

Jack Collison
West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is left dejected after the final whistle
"I thought the lads put in a great performance but at the end of the day, we didn't get through and we are very disappointed," said Church.

"We came into the game and said we didn't want to be unlucky this time.

"We hate that word to be honest and unfortunately it didn't work out again for us.

"I was happy with the goal, and Rambo [Ramsey] scored an absolute beaut as well.

"It shows the quality in the team creating chances against top level teams."

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see also
England U21 2-2 Wales U21 (5-4)
14 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Pearce relieved to reach finals
10 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Wales U21 2-3 England U21
10 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Villa to host decisive U21 clash
23 Sep 08 |  Internationals
England & Wales in U21 play-off
12 Sep 08 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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