Wales news

Flynn was 'aware' Bellamy could play for Cardiff

October 5, 2010

Wales caretaker manager Brian Flynn has refused to get involved in a club-versus-country row with Cardiff over Craig Bellamy.

• Gabbidon retires

Wales confident ahead of Bulgaria

Flynn last Friday omitted Bellamy, the national side's captain and talisman, from his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland because of a knee injury. Yet Bellamy was surprisingly back in action the following day - and scored - in Cardiff's Championship win at Barnsley.

Wales could invoke FIFA rules to call up the player but Flynn is still happy to respect the wishes of the Bluebirds and rest the player.

Flynn told Sky Sports News: "When I made the announcement that Craig wasn't in the squad I was fully aware - three weeks earlier - that there was a possibility Craig could play against Barnsley. So, it is not an issue with me.''

Flynn would have welcomed the chance to field Bellamy in the double-header which starts with Bulgaria's visit to the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday. He then takes the side to Basle to face the Swiss next Tuesday. Flynn has initially been placed in charge just for the two fixtures following the departure of John Toshack last month.

Flynn's plans were further hit by the sudden retirement from international football on Monday of West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon. The 31-year-old, who has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons, had been poised to win his first cap since November last year. But in the final year of his contract at Upton Park, Gabbidon has decided to concentrate on his club career.

"After nine fantastic years of playing international football for Wales, during which I had the honour and privilege of captaining my country, and after long consideration, I have decided to retire from international duty,'' said Gabbidon, who won 43 caps.

Gabbidon is the second Welsh player to quit the international scene this season following Fulham's Simon Davies. Flynn has now lost four players from his initial 24-man party. Also missing are Blackpool defender Neal Eardley and Doncaster midfielder Brian Stock due to ankle and back injuries respectively. They join Nottingham Forest striker Robert Earnshaw, who withdrew on Monday because of a thigh strain.

Untried Southampton forward Ryan Doble, who was capped at Under-21 level by Flynn last season, was added to the squad as his replacement. Defenders Darcy Blake and Neil Taylor, of Cardiff and Swansea respectively, and Norwich midfielder Andrew Crofts have also now been called up.

One player who is in the squad is Tottenham's Gareth Bale, whose outstanding calendar year was on Monday night recognised with the Brains Wales Player of the Year award. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 19, who has been sidelined since February with a broken leg, retained the Young Player of the Year prize. Swansea defender Ashley Williams was named as the Club Player of the Year.