JOEY JONES believes John Toshack and Brian Flynn are doing the right thing by looking to the future with Wales.
Toshack continues to come under fire after splitting with senior players and blooding up-and-coming prospects in an effort to build a Wales team for forthcoming qualification.
But former Wales and Liverpool great Jones, whose role as Wrexham reserves coach includes overseeing the progression of players from youth level, has backed the Wales coach in his efforts to give young players experience of top-level international football.
Jones, a former full-back who was capped 72 times by his country, also praised the job Flynn is doing in charge of Wales’ age-group squads.
He said: “It’s the only way to go. It’s quite tough for Toshack because a lot of senior players have retired. But how do people think the experienced players got their experience in the first place?
“I think Brian Flynn’s doing a great job with the under-21s and U19s. There are kids coming through and that’s showing in the first team. Some of them might be finding it a bit tough but in the long term it’s got to be beneficial.
“As long as they’re playing it’s got to be a positive. You’ve got Joe Ledley from Cardiff and you’ve got young lads like Chris Gunter and Neal Eardley. They’re all lads who’ve stepped up to the full team and it’s getting the right balance.”
Jones said the amount of potential at Wrexham alone indicated there was a rich seam of talent in Wales for Toshack and Flynn to mine, with brothers Mike and Marc Williams and Neil Taylor currently involved in the U21 set-up.
“We’ve got the Williams brothers, Mike and Marc, we’ve got Neil Taylor who’s gone there from schoolboy level,” he said. “Then there’s Cai Edwards, Chris Maxwell – they’re all coming through and that’s just in Wrexham. You’ve got Cardiff and Swansea as well.
“The young players are gaining the experience now with being thrown into the squad, and they’re playing against the best players in the world so it’s got be helping them.”