Jordan James Is A Member Of The Fresh Page Generation

Jordan James is one of the new breed of Wales youngsters manager Rob Page is hoping can fire Wales towards Euro 2024 qualification on Friday night against Armenia.

James was born in Hereford and twice represented England Under-20s before choosing to play for the land of his father, the former Newport defender Tony. However, any idea that he would represent England was curtailed the moment he stepped#onto the pitch to play for the English youth set up.

“The opportunity was there with England and I wanted to try something new,” said James, who travelled and trained with the Wales squad at the World Cup in Qatar. “It was nothing against Wales, I love the country to bits. The opportunity came, but I knew straight away when I stepped foot on the pitch for England it didn’t feel the same. “My dad is Welsh through and through, he’s put it into me. When I put that Wales shirt on,
something special happens.”

It certainly did in March as James had only been on the pitch a few seconds in making his Wales debut when Nathan Broadhead scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to deliver a 1-1 draw in Croatia. Wales followed up that Euro 2024 qualifying bonus point by beating Latvia, and now aim to build on that promising start against Armenia and Turkey.

“The gaffer (Rob Page) has put a lot of trust in me, otherwise I wouldn’t be on the pitch in such a big game,” said James, who made his Birmingham debut at the age of 17 and has already made more than 50 senior appearances for the club. “He’s really good with the young players. There’s a few of us like Luke Harris, Joe Low, Ollie Cooper, so that’s the next batch that will hopefully come through and be a part of it all.

“It’s more demanding in the seniors, there’s more eyes on you, but that’s what I’m here for.“It’s where I wanted to get to and I’m trying to live up to it as much as possible.”

David Brooks would provide one of the most heart-warming stories of the season by returning to the international arena at the Cardiff City Stadium. Brooks was diagnosed with stage-two Hodgkin lymphoma while on international duty in October 2021 and has rejoined the Wales squad for the first time since announcing he was cancer-free in May last year.

The 25-year-old attacker returned to action for Bournemouth in March and made his first start last month. Brooks has won 21 caps for Wales and played at Euro 2020 before his illness was diagnosed.

Duplicating March’s return of four points will do Wales just fine. Taking a point from World Cup semi-finalists Croatia courtesy of Broadhead’s stoppage-time strike was a bonus that few – if anyone – predicted. Beating Armenia and getting some reward against Turkey in Samsun on Monday would represent a huge step for Welsh ambitions of clinching a top-two spot and reaching the finals in Germany next summer.