Wales football manager Rob Page said he was "excited and honoured" to be invited back to Newtown to help raise money for the upcoming Urdd Eisteddfod by giving a talk and thank mid Wales supporters for their commitment to the national team.

The almost sold-out event at Latham Park on Thursday, March 7, heard stories from Page's younger days playing for Wales alongside his friend Robbie Savage, the World Cup, his pride at being appointed manager of the national team, and the importance of the Welsh language within the squad.

He told the County Times: "I’m honoured to be here because it’s giving something back because first and foremost, we appreciate what the supporters do, travelling down is a big commitment, expense and cost and certainly in the climate we’re in today so for me to come up and show our appreciation and raise funds for a great cause is a win-win definitely."


Speaking at the home of Cymru Premier League side Newtown AFC, Page praised the mid Wales ground as a "great facility for us" adding that there was "no reason" why younger age Welsh squad matches couldn't be played at the 4G pitch.

"With the intermediate and younger age groups, there’s no reason why we can’t bring them to the facilities that we’ve got here and there’s no reason why we can’t keep bringing games here. We’ll have to see what happens in the future."

Prior to this week's squad announcement for Wales' crucial Euro play-off semi-final against Finland next Thursday (March 21), Page said the team was confident and in good form for the upcoming game at Cardiff City Stadium.

"We’re off the back of two defeats in the whole campaign for the Euros," he said.

"This season from September onwards we’re unbeaten and we’re taking confidence from that. We’re off the back of home performances against Croatia in particular and certainly Turkey bar a refereeing performance that on another night we would have had two or three penalties, and we could have won the game.

"But looking back on the performance if we can replicate what we did Turkey, and certainly against Croatia, then I think the results will take care of itself."

Page praised Tottenham Hotspurs player Brennan Johnson, whose mother hails from Rhayader, qualifies him to play for Wales.

"Brennan thoroughly deserved his move," Page said.

"I’ve worked with Brennan throughout the younger age groups from the 19s and all the way through. I was head of intermediates when I first worked with Brennan. Not directly but we saw him in the 19s and worked with him a bit in the Under 21s and brought him straight up into the Senior team. I’ve watched him develop over the years.

"He thoroughly deserved his move to a top club in Spurs and he’s a really nice guy, he’s humble and he’s great for the environment. He’s got a great, great future in front of him especially for us Wales."

The Urdd Eisteddfod will be hosted by Montgomeryshire for the first time since the 1980s.

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