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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Coleman returns to Wales fold
Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman has made a remarkable recovery

Chris Coleman has won his way back into the Wales squad 16 months after a serious car crash threatened to end his playing career.

The Fulham defender returned to action with his club's reserve team in March and is a late call-up for Wales' squad to play Germany in Cardiff on Tuesday 14 May.

"I couldn't believe it to be honest," said a delighted Coleman. "It's the icing on the cake for me.

"I've said all along that my biggest dream was to get back into the Wales squad and I've been given that opportunity. I'm absolutely delighted."

Coleman, who has won 28 caps, was not named in manager Mark Hughes' original squad for the friendly at the Millennium Stadium.

Open Quote
The medical team at Fulham have to take full credit
Close Quote
Chris Coleman

But the withdrawal through injury of up-and-coming Cardiff centre-back Danny Gabbidon has left the door open for a miraculous return to the international stage.

The 31-year-old suffered severe leg injuries in a car crash in January 2001, which threatened his career and required several operations and intensive rehabilitation.

"The medical team at Fulham have to take full credit for my recovery because they've really pampered me - I've had some of the best care available," Coleman added.

Coleman also had praise for the emotional support given by Hughes and assistant coaches Mark Bowen and Eric Harrison, who have kept in touch throughout the player's long road to recovery.

Fulham club-mate Andy Melville is also in the 24-man squad, while Fulham Academy player Matthew Collins has been selected for the Wales Under-19 training camp in Llanelli on 5 to 8 May.


Wales squad:

Goalkeepers: Paul Jones (Southampton), Mark Crossley (Middlesbrough), Darren Ward (Nottm For), Danny Coyne (Grimsby).

Defenders: Mark Delaney (A Villa), Steve Jenkins (Huddersfield), Andy Melville (Fulham), Chris Coleman (Fulham), Robert Page (Sheff Utd), Darren Barnard (unattached).

Midfielders: John Robinson (Charlton), Jason Koumas (Tranmere), Andy Johnson (WBA), Mark Pembridge (Everton), Simon Davies (Spurs), Robbie Savage (Leicester), Gary Speed (Newcastle), Paul Evans (Brentford).

Forwards: Gareth Taylor (Burnley), Robert Earnshaw (Cardiff), Iwan Roberts (Norwich), John Hartson (Celtic), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Nathan Blake (Wolves).


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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