Chris Coleman Claims He Always Knew Teenage Star Would Choose Wales Over England
Wales boss Chris Coleman says he never doubted that new star Ben Woodburn would choose to play for the Welsh rather than England.
It took the young Liverpool player less than five minutes of international football to become somewhat of a national hero, by scoring the 69th minute winning goal in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria.
Having been born in Nottingham in England, the teenager had a choice to make: stick with the Welsh, the country of his grandfather, for whom he had played since the age of thirteen, or to switch allegiances to the 'Three Lions', who twice enquired about the availability of Woodburn.
The teenager's match winning substitute appearance ended all speculation and confirmed him once and for all as Welsh.
Speaking to Sky Sports Coleman stated "I never thought it was going to go any other way. We're in a privileged position because we've spoken to his family.
"He's always declared himself Welsh, to play for Wales and he's been with our younger teams through the age groups. We've seen him coming through. I know there was a lot of talk of Ben playing for England but that was outside of our little group and we can't control that.
"But I didn't put him on because I thought he can't go anywhere now. I would never do that.
I would never take a gamble on a young player. If I thought he was going to be out of his depth I wouldn't put him through that. It wouldn't be fair on him.
"I put him on to add something to us, and he certainly did that."