VALE footballer Wesley Burns has been called up to the Wales Under 21 squad – just weeks after making his first team debut for Bristol City!
Former Ysgol Bro Morgannwg pupil Wesley has been selected for the Welsh squad, which will face Iceland in a friendly at Stebonheath Park, Llanelli, next Wednesday (February 6).
It comes after he signed his first professional contract just before Christmas, and made his first team debut for Bristol City against Leicester on January 12.
Wesley, 18, from St Athan, said he was ‘really pleased’ to be selected for Wales.
"It will be an honour to play for my country," he said.
"To get my first cap for Wales would be great. Everything has really taken off since I got my contract."
Dad David Burns, who travelled up to Leicester to watch Wesley make his club debut, said: "It’s gone very well for him.
"His profile has been on the rise since his first team appearances.
"I wasn’t surprised that he had a call up, but I thought it would be the Under 19’s as he still qualifies for them."
He added that Wesley’s career progress over the last few weeks had been ‘beyond all of his and my expectations’.
"We had a game plan for him this season," added David.
"He wanted to nail down a contract by March and then become a regular in the first team.
"But to already be playing in the first team and called up to the Wales Under 21s is way beyond the objectives we set."
And he said the whole family would be there to watch Wesley, when he makes his international debut.
"As only 17 were chosen in the squad, he’s either going to be on the bench or starting, so I think the whole family will be there!" said David.
Wesley is now hoping to nail down a regular first team place for Bristol City, as they bid to climb off the bottom of the Championship under new manager Sean O’Driscoll; as well as secure his place in the Wales team before the start of the next UEFA Under 21 championships.
Qualifying matches for the championships, which will be held in the Czech Republic in 2015, are due to be held from March this year.
Wesley’s grandfather Wyn Phillips added: "We are very proud of him as he’s worked so hard.
"This call up came out of the blue, but they must have been watching him!"