Soccer

Rob Page urges Wales to give supporters Euro 2024 party experience

Rob Page wants a Euro 2024 party for Wales fans (PA)
Rob Page wants a Euro 2024 party for Wales fans (PA) Rob Page wants a Euro 2024 party for Wales fans (PA)

Rob Page has called on his Wales team to give their supporters the chance to enjoy the Euro 2024 experience.

Wales are still two wins away from qualification but now know that if they can make it to the tournament they face mouthwatering matches against the Netherlands, Austria and France in Group D.

Page and his team will have home backing from the ‘Red Wall’ for their play-off semi against Finland on March 21 and the final against either Poland or Estonia on March 26 should they progress.

Rob Page urges qualification closer to home for Wales fans
Rob Page urges qualification closer to home for Wales fans Rob Page urges qualification closer to home for Wales fans (Zac Goodwin/PA)

He wants his players to be buoyed on by the thought of setting up a Welsh party in Germany after challenging assignments for the fans at the last two major tournaments.

“Off the back of 2016 we’ve had Euro 2020, but because of Covid we were limited with travel,” he told the PA news agency.

“The World Cup (in Qatar last year) was very difficult for our supporters to get to, and respect to the supporters who got out there.

“For them to have a tournament that is close by, well organised, you know what the tournament is going to be like. For our supporters to experience that will be an extra bit of incentive to go and get the results (in March).”

Wales and France have faced each other six times before but never competitively, while Wales have lost all 10 of their previous encounters with the Dutch.

Nevertheless, Page is relishing the matches facing his side if they can make it to Germany.

“When you dream of becoming a footballer as a kid, you want to play against top teams, you want to play against top players, and those teams that are drawn in that group certainly fall into the category,” he said.

“They’re the best teams in Europe and well respected in world football and rightly so.

“For us to get there will be a big achievement and to look forward to playing those teams is incredible for the players again.”

Page also believes playing such big competitive matches less than three months before the finals will stand his team in good stead.

“I think so. It’s important that we strip the emotion out of it, I thought we handled (the World Cup play-offs for Qatar) really well and the big players on the occasion stepped up and delivered,” he added.

Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson Harry Wilson is a key player for Wales (Tim Goode/PA)

“It’s a different team, a different squad, we’re in transition. I’m trying to introduce some of the young players in like Brennan Johnson and Harry Wilson.

“We will be fully focused on March to get the games won, but what a carrot that (draw) is.”

Wales’ first match would be a 2pm UK time kick-off against the Netherlands on Sunday, June 16 should they make it, before facing Austria at 5pm UK time on June 21.

A match against France at 5pm UK time on June 25 would round off the group campaign.