herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Church relishing the chance to fill Bellamy's boots

Simon Church admits the absence of Craig Bellamy leaves a big void in the Wales side but is determined to make the most of it.

The 21-year-old Reading forward is set to partner Sheffield United's Ched Evans in a youthful Wales front line in tonight's international friendly against Sweden in Swansea.

Star striker Bellamy has been surprisingly overlooked for the fixture as manager John Toshack tests different options ahead of the start of the Euro 2012 qualifiers next season.

Church, who scored on his last international outing against Scotland in November, said: "Craig is a great player and a good leader. He will be missed but it is a chance for a few of us to show what we can do.

"They are massive shoes to fill, but it is just a chance for me to go out there and progress.

"We played together in the U21s -- me, Ched and Vokesy (Sam Vokes) -- and these games are vital for how we click together."

In Bellamy's absence, the side will be led at the Liberty Stadium by Aston Villa defender James Collins.

WALES v SWEDEN

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