A CROP of the region’s most exciting talent have earned call-ups to the Welsh under 16s squads.

Welshpool’s Max Williams has seen his displays for Salford City recognised with a call up to the Welsh squad for the UEFA under 16s tournament in Bulgaria.

Williams forms part of a 20 man squad which will take on the hosts on Saturday before facing Northern Ireland on Monday and Luxembourg on Wednesday.

Meanwhile four Powys players have earned a call-up to the Welsh girls squad for the UEFA Under 16s tournament in Slovenia.

Newtown’s Carrie Jones heads the cast having emerged through the Welsh development pathway and already recognised by the senior squad as a star of the future.

Jones is joined in the Welsh squad by Newtown High School classmate Libby Isaac who has maintained her rise through the ranks of the Newport based Wales Performance Centre and hometown club Newtown.

Llanidloes’ Maria Francis-Jones has also seen her star continue to rise with a call up to the under 16s squad having also emerged through the Wales Performance Centre.

Each have impressed for the schools in the Welsh Schools Cup this season with Newtown’s under 15s girls side reaching the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Lauren Purchase has also maintained her presence in the Welsh set-up having qualified through her Llanfair Caereinion and Welshpool born parents.

The Malaysia based player represents Kuala Lumpur Youth but has committed to the country of her ancestors having also accepted international calls from Wales for athletics events.

The girls side opened their tournament in Radgona with a clash against Sweden as the County Times went to press.

On Saturday the Welsh side were due to take on the host national before rounding off their time in the Balkans with a derby against their old rivals from Northern Ireland.

UEFA has set up the development tournaments to offer young footballing talents an additional opportunity to play competitive international matches.

The under 16s development tournaments are designed to prepare the way for players to move into the under 17s age group when European competition begins.

Proud mother Joyce Jones said: “Carrie and the rest of girls are so committed to their football.

“Each week they travel miles for training which they do alongside their many other school commitments.

“To have so many players from Powys in the two under 16s squads is a great testament to the players and of course their coaches through the years as well as the schools and teachers who have supported their international football commitments.”