Interesting piece in the News of the Screws with Simon Davies where the Fulham midfielder says that the prospect of playing England in the European Championship qualifiers persuaded him not to retire from international football.
Davies, who has won 56 caps for Wales across five qualifying campaigns, was set to call time on his Welsh career before John Toshack’s side were drawn in an intriguing group with Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro as well as Fabio Capello’s side.
With the year I’ve had, I was feeling down and retiring for Wales certainly did cross my mind. But I was watching the draw on TV and I immediately got the buzz back.
It’s a great draw for us and facing England is something nobody would want to miss. It wasn’t just that, though. It was like something was telling me to give it another crack.
I was still burning to play for my country and I know I’ve still got plenty more to give. I knew it wasn’t time to pack it in if my hunger was still there.
It will probably be time to move on in a couple of years. This will be my last chance of reaching a major finals. I would have represented Wales for 12 or so years at the end of the campaign.
You know when enough is enough and I don’t want to block a young player’s develop- ment. It gets more demanding the older you get. I can’t play 38 games a season in the Premier League and then play six or seven more with Wales. Something has to give.
Everyone knows what I can do, so there’s no point turning out for some games as we won’t learn anything. It’s not a case of me deciding when and when not to play, it’s about speaking to boss John Toshack and being sensible.
The specialist says I’ve got to put my body first if I want to play well into my 30s. If that means sitting out an important qualifier, then so be it. I know if I don’t rest my foot for a week or so between games, the injury could return and that would rule me out for months.
Davies is excited about the qualifiers and reckons Wales could surprise a few people.
We’ve seen a steady improvement and it’s clear the raw talent is in place. It’s a group we shouldn’t be scared of. It’s important to get a good start, but there’s no reason why we can’t challenge.