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Ethan Ampadu on his biggest test yet after doing GCSEs in last Euros

Five years ago Ethan Ampadu was doing his GSCEs but now the Wales ace is preparing for his biggest test yet.

Chelsea starlet Ampadu has 22 caps since making his Wales debut in 2017.

But he got his first taste of preparing for a tournament in 2016 when he trained with Wales’ senior squad.

The 20-year-old was just a teenager at the time as he juggled his exams at school with playing for Exeter.

But he insists his tests turned out “pretty well” and so did Wales’ first ever trip to the Euros when they reached the last four in France.

Now Ampadu is an established player for the Wales and is delighted to have swapped his books for his boots at this year’s rescheduled tournament.

Ampadu, who joined Chelsea in 2017, said: “That was a really proud moment for me to be able to train with the senior squad before they went to the last Euros.

Ethan Ampadu, who can play in defence or midfield, in action for Wales

“I got to train with the players and it was unreal , especially seeing them prepare for what in hindsight was an incredible summer.

“If you get the taste of something, you just want a bit more.

“Now everyone wants to do it again, not only for us, but for the fans.

“My exams went alright too, I would like to say I did pretty well.

“My parents were pleased, that is the main thing.”

Ampadu insists he is fully fit speaking from Wales’ training camp in Portugal.

The star doesn’t seem to have much scar tissue from a loan at relegated Sheffield United, where he made 25 Premier League appearances.

He reflected: “We didn’t have great results and were ultimately relegated.

Ethan Ampadu was loaned by Chelsea to RB Leipzig previously

“But I got so much experience and throughout your downs you try and learn from them.”

Rob Page is Wales national team manager for the tournament following Ryan Giggs’ off the field problems.

Giggs has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with assaulting two women after being arrested by the police in November.

Page has since stepped up from assistant to take Wales’ last six games, during which they have lost just once.

Ampadu insists Wales can still thrive at the tournament despite the upheaval over Giggs, who started in January 2018.

He added: “Being a footballer there is change all the time, whether it is players or the manager.

“Rob Page, everyone knows him and gets on with him.

Ampadu celebrates reaching the Euros with Wales

“We are still building something good.

“Everyone’s expectations have stayed the same.”

Wales have friendlies against France and Albania before flying to Baku to play Switzerland and Turkey in Group A.

Then they go to Rome to take on Italy in their final group game.

Wales will look to record-scorer and skipper Gareth Bale, who has 33 goals in 90 caps, to be their talisman fresh from netting twice for Spurs on the final day in a win at Leicester.

Ampadu added: “Going on form he scored a couple of goals and we hope he can bring them here, which I am sure he will.

“He is a world-class player.”




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