Russell Martin hails Swansea City academy's World Cup strike rate

15th November 2022
Ollie Cooper Joe Allen Ben Cabango Wales

Russell Martin hopes Swansea City’s academy staff feel proud of the contribution they have made to the Wales World Cup squad.

Joe Allen and Ben Cabango have been included in Rob Page’s squad as the Dragons make a first appearance at the global showpiece in 64 years.

Ollie Cooper has been called up as a travelling standby, while there are four further Swans academy alumni in the party for Qatar in the form of Connor Roberts, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon and Dan James.

That makes seven players travelling to Qatar who have come through the Swansea pathway, with six in the main squad.

To put that in context, Barcelona have six academy graduates in the Spain squad, three members of the Germany squad spent time in the Bayern Munich academy, while eight members of the Dutch squad had stints in the Ajax youth set-up.

And Martin feels matching the numbers of some of the most illustrious clubs in Europe when it comes to providing players for the national squad underlines the quality of work being done at Landore.

Ben Davies and Connor Roberts stand together celebrating Wales qualifying for the world cup

“I think if you have a look at that Wales squad and the number of academy graduates that are in it, and the number who are regular starters, it’s just incredible,” said the head coach.

“That is no small achievement and I think the club and the academy should be praised really highly for that, and what they have done with those players.

“I feel like we have another bunch of those players coming through, in terms of the young lads in our squad, and it is up to us to help develop them.

“That’s one of the big reasons why we are here, and hopefully they can show the same work rate and desire to improve that guys like Ollie Cooper and Ben Cabango have shown over the last year to 18 months.

“We will be more than happy if they can do that.”