Collison furthers Welsh experience

Jack Collison was part of the Wales team that lost 2-0 to England in an Under-21 friendly on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old midfielder, watched by club legend Sir Trevor Brooking who was at the game in Wrexham in his FA capacity as director of football development, played the whole 90 minutes. England scored both goals in the first half, with a penalty from Tom Huddlestone being followed by a deflected Theo Walcott effort. Huddlestone was only in the squad as a replacement for Mark Noble, who was withdrawn earlier this week with back and hamstring trouble.

Collison may have been on the losing side but he was cheered earlier in the day by confirmation of his inclusion in the senior Wales squad for the first time. The reserve-team captain, who made two appearances for West Ham United this season, was named in a 35-man squad to face Iceland on 28 May and then the might of the Netherlands on 1 June. Wales captain Craig Bellamy was also included as he returns from an abdominal injury while both Danny Gabbidon and James Collins remain sidelined.

With regard to the Under-21 set-up, Wales used the England game as a warm-up for their final two 2009 Euro qualifiers at home to Romania on 20 August before concluding their campaign with the return trip to the eastern European nation on 10 September. The Welsh have a four-point advantage on Romania, who have a game in hand, and France with only the section winners progressing to October's play-offs for the finals. Collison has been capped five times at that level, with two goals.