Wales national under-21 football team
|Association||Football Association of Wales|
|Head coach||Rob Page|
|Most caps||Shaun MacDonald (25)|
|Top scorer||Ched Evans (13)|
| England U21 0–0 Wales U21 |
(Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton; 15 December 1976)
| Wales U21 6–2 Cyprus U21 |
(Ninian Park, Cardiff; 22 October 1993)
Wales U21 5–1 Luxembourg U21
(Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli; 31 March 2009)
| Italy U21 8–1 Wales U21 |
(Stadio Pietro Fortunati, Pavia; 5 September 2003)
|UEFA U-21 Championship|
|Appearances||None (first in n/a)|
|Best result||1st of 5 in qual. |
group, 2009. Lost in play off.
The Wales national under-21 football team, also known as the Wales U21s, is the national under-21 football team of Wales and is controlled by the Football Association of Wales. The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, held every two years. To date Wales haven't yet qualified for the finals tournament but in recent years have shown good form, losing in a playoff (5–4) to England in the 2009 qualifying campaign and finishing second in their group two years later, after leading their group until their last game Wales only needed a draw to qualify for the play-offs but lost 1–0 away to Italy.
The under-21 team came into existence following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against England at Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium was Wales U21s' first result.
The national under-21 team is the highest level of youth football in Wales, and is open to any players who were born in Wales or whose parents or grandparents were born in Wales. This team is for Welsh players aged 21 or under at the start of a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, and often are, up to 23 years old. Also in existence are teams for Under-20s (for non-UEFA tournaments), Under-19s and Under 17s. As long as they are eligible, players can play at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side and again for the U21s.
In recent decades, the team has been viewed by the Welsh national management as more of a hole to be filled than a team to be used to nurture young international players, many of the great Welsh players of recent years having not spent long in the under-21 team. Ryan Giggs only made one appearance for the under-21 team before making his senior debut against Germany the next day.
From 2004 onward however, the former Wales national football team manager John Toshack and former Wales Under 21 manager Brian Flynn used the under-21 team to create a pool of youthful Welsh talent. The team now has a much better tracking system of young Welsh players, and has seen a marked improvement in players and team results. Recent results have seen them achieve big wins against Estonia (5–1), Northern Ireland (4–0) and France (4–2).
Some of the players who have made the step from the U21s to attain over 25 caps for the senior squad are Lewin Nyatanga, Joe Ledley, Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes, Simon Church, Wayne Hennessey, David Vaughan, Andrew Crofts, David Edwards, Andy King and Aaron Ramsey.
On 15 May 2008, they played a friendly against England U21s to mark the 100th match in the history of the side, losing 2–0.
A 3–0 victory against Romania in September 2008 meant that the Under-21 side finished top of their qualifying group for the first time in their history. It meant Wales would go into a two-legged play-off against England in October 2008 for a place in the finals of the 2009 UEFA Under-21 Championship to be played in Sweden. Wales lost the playoff 5–4 over the course of two legs. Losing 3–2 at home in the first leg and drawing 2–2 away in the second.
Wales started their qualifying campaign for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with a 1-0 away win against Andorra, a 3-1 away loss against Montenegro, a 1-0 home win against Montenegro, a 1-0 home defeat against Czech Republic and a 0-0 away draw against Armenia.
In May 2012 Brian Flynn vacated his position as Wales under-21 manager at the end of his contract and in July 2012 Geraint Williams was appointed team manager  Williams resigned as team manager on 5 December 2016. On 15 March 2017 it was announced that former Port Vale and Northampton Town manager Rob Page had left his position on the coaching staff at Nottingham Forest to become Wales under-21 manager.
Players born on or after 1 January 1996 are eligible for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Caps and goals as of 6 June 2018. Players in bold have attained full international caps. Clubs as of the date of the announcement.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Luke Pilling||25 July 1997||7||0||Ashton United|
|GK||Owen Evans||28 November 1996||1||0||Wigan Athletic|
|DF||Regan Poole||18 June 1998||11||0||Manchester United|
|DF||Joe Rodon||22 October 1997||9||0||Swansea City|
|DF||Cameron Coxe||18 December 1998||8||0||Cardiff City|
|DF||Cian Harries||5 September 1997||4||0||Swansea City|
|DF||Rhys Norrington-Davies||22 April 1999||4||0||Barrow|
|DF||Aaron Lewis||26 June 1998||3||0||Swansea City|
|DF||Brandon Cooper||14 January 2000||0||0||Swansea City|
|DF||Keston Davies||2 October 1996||0||0||Notts County|
|MF||Joe Morrell||3 January 1997||4||2||Bristol City|
|MF||Isaac Christie-Davies||18 October 1997||2||0||Liverpool|
|MF||Alex Babos||21 January 1998||2||0||Real Unión de Tenerife|
|MF||Ash Baker||30 October 1996||2||0||Sheffield Wednesday|
|MF||Connor Lemonheigh-Evans||24 January 1997||2||0||Torquay United|
|FW||Mark Harris||29 December 1998||8||1||Newport County|
|FW||Daniel James||10 November 1997||8||0||Swansea City|
|FW||Nathan Broadhead||5 April 1998||6||0||Everton|
|FW||Rabbi Matondo||9 September 2000||6||0||Manchester City|
|FW||Liam Cullen||23 April 1999||2||0||Swansea City|
|FW||Momodou Touray||30 July 1999||0||0||Barry Town United|
The following players have also been called up to the Wales under-21 squad and remain eligible.
|Name||DOB||Club||Caps (goals)||Most recent call up|
|Chris Mepham||5 November 1997||Brentford||4 (0)||vs. Romania, 14 November 2017|
|Rhys Abbruzzese||23 March 1998||Cardiff City||3(0)||vs. Liechtenstein, 5 October 2017|
|Aron Davies||5 September 1997||Fulham||0 (0)||vs. Liechtenstein, 5 October 2017|
|Dominic Smith||9 February 1996||Shrewsbury Town||2 (0)||vs. Armenia, 11 October 2016|
|David Brooks||8 July 1997||Sheffield United||3 (1)||vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23 March 2018|
|Matthew Smith||22 November 1999||Manchester City||5 (1)||vs. Romania, 14 November 2017|
|Jack Evans||25 April 1998||Swansea City||6 (0)||vs. Georgia, 6 June 2018|
|Robbie Burton||26 December 1999||Arsenal||1 (0)||vs. Georgia, 6 June 2018|
|Harry Wilson||22 March 1997||Liverpool||10 (2)||vs. Romania, 14 November 2017|
|Tyler Roberts||16 February 1999||Leeds United||5 (1)||vs. Romania, 14 November 2017|
|Jake Charles||16 February 1996||Barnsley||8 (2)||vs. Armenia, 11 October 2016|
|Owain Jones||1 October 1996||Yeovil Town||1 (0)||vs. Armenia, 11 October 2016|
|George Thomas||24 March 1997||Scunthorpe United||6 (3)||vs. Portugal, 11 September 2018|
- UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship
- Football Association of Wales
- Wales national football team
- Wales national under-19 football team
- Wales national under-17 football team