International blow for Hereford footballer, Aaron Wildig

The Hinton under-12 side which won the Wyvern Flooring Cup and were runners-up in the league in 2004.

The Hinton under-12 side which won the Wyvern Flooring Cup and were runners-up in the league in 2004. Buy this photo

First published in Sport Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

Hereford footballer Aaron Wildig will not be able to represent Wales - despite playing for the nation two years ago.

Aaron was 15 years old when he made three appearances for Wales Under-16 in the annual Victory Shield.

However, the Cardiff City youngster’s hopes of gaining further recognition for Wales were crushed 12 months later.

“When Aaron was 14, Cardiff City asked us whether we had any Welsh connections in our family,” explained his dad, Neil.

“The great-great granddad of my wife, Vicky, was Welsh and we passed this information on to the relevant parties.

“A letter then arrived from the Welsh FA and Aaron was invited for a trial and got into the squad,” added Neil.

Wildig played the final five minutes against England, 20 minutes against Scotland and then the whole match against Northern Ireland.

Wildig was invited back 12 months later by Wales Under-16 for a three-day meeting.

“It was said that the Welsh players either needed to be born in Wales, have Welsh parents or a Welsh grandparent,” said Neil.

“He doesn’t have any of those things so we let that be known and they said they had better look into it.

“Afterwards, we had a call to say that Aaron was going to be captain.”

Sadly, the Hereford-born youngster was not eligible to take up the offer and it took him six months to overcome the disappointment.

A Welsh FA spokesman confirmed that Wildig, now 17, would not be able to play international football with Wales.

“Unlike cricket and rugby, residency does not apply in football and Aaron does not qualify to play football for Wales.”

“With Aaron being from a Welsh club, we have already looked into it and I am afraid he’s one player we will have to pass on.”

l St Mirren’s Andy Dorman, who was born in England of English parents, was eligible to play for Wales after FIFA ratified changes last October.

Dorman had been educated for seven years in Wales and was called up to the squad to play against Scotland.

The FIFA changes allow players, with five years’ compulsory education in a country before the age of 16, to represent that country.

Picture: Back row (left to right) Cathal Tosh, Sam Preece, Jamie Jones, Harry Kingston, Matt Evans, Adam Aspey, Tommy Greene, Lee Watkins, Roy Powell, Finn Ralph; front: Dan Price, James Febery, Ben Osbourne, James Cartwright, Aaron Wildig and Elliot Freeman.

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