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Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Allen urged for Wales 'patience'

By Peter Shuttleworth

Joe Allen
Allen has represented Wales at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level

Brian Flynn has told Swansea City's teenage midfielder Joe Allen to be patient for his full Wales cap.

The 18-year-old has starred for the Swans since breaking into their first-team and is pushing for a senior Welsh call for their friendly against Poland.

But Welsh youth boss Flynn says Allen will be with the Under-21 squad in Northern Ireland next month rather than part of John Toshack's senior team.

"Joe will eventually break into the first-team," said Flynn.

Toshack's trusted youth development coach has told Allen to bide his time due to the embarrassment of midfield riches Toshack has for his 11 February friendly with Poland in Portugal.

Fellow youngsters Aaron Ramsey, Jack Collison, Joe Ledley and Dave Edwards will join the experience of Simon Davies and Jason Koumas in the fight for a place in Toshack's Welsh midfield.

"If you look at what Wales have got in midfield at the moment, it's mouth-watering," said Flynn.

"But because of the ability Joe has got, he will break into the senior squad soon, I've no doubt about that.

Wales youth coach Brian Flynn
Joe Allen very rarely gives the ball away and always seems to have time on the ball - that is a sign of a very good player

Wales youth coach Brian Flynn

"He'll stay with the U21s for our game in Northern Ireland on 10 February but with a bit of patience he will get his opportunity with the senior team."

Allen, who has won nine Wales U21 caps, has not played in a losing game this season for Swansea or during his time on loan at non-League Wrexham in the Blue Square Premier.

His mature displays for Championship play-off chasing Swansea have been hailed by his club boss Roberto Martinez.

Carmarthen-born Welsh-speaker Allen has slotted seamlessly into the void in Swansea's midfield left by talisman Ferrie Bodde, who suffered a season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury.

"I've been delighted with Joe because he has been excellent for Swansea," said former Wales international Flynn.

"He has really taken his chance.

"When young Welsh players force their way into their club team, we want them not to accept playing just one game but staying in the team and playing regularly - and Joe is doing that.

"Joe is a good footballer and has a good footballing brain, he's a very good passer of the ball and can do most things in midfield.


"He is very composed on the ball, very rarely gives the ball away and always seems to have time on the ball - that is a sign of a very good player.

"John Toshack saw him against Reading earlier this month and he was outstanding in that game and Reading are a very good side.

"Joe then held his own in Swansea's FA Cup win at Portsmouth, a Premier League team.

"His move to Wrexham brought on his football development massively, though.

"A lot of young players would have turned down going into non-League but such is his attitude and willingness the learn, he jumped at the chance and it has helped him improve."

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see also
Allen is Premier quality - Bodde
29 Jan 09 |  Swansea
Pratley hammer blow hits Swansea
28 Jan 09 |  Swansea
Swans can make play-offs - Allen
21 Jan 09 |  Swansea
Martinez hails 'catalyst' Allen
10 Dec 08 |  Swansea
Swan Allen joins Wrexham on loan
07 Oct 08 |  Wrexham
Swans reward Allen with new deal
16 Aug 07 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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