Allen hopes for Wales start
Joe Allen hopes to make his first start for Wales against Switzerland following his impressive start to life in the Premier League.
Last Updated: 06/10/11 1:45pm
Joe Allen is hoping to make his first start for Wales against Switzerland on Friday night following his impressive start to life in the Premier League with Swansea City.
The 21-year-old has caught the eye during Swansea's opening few games and delivered a man-of-the-match performance in last weekend's 2-0 win over Stoke City.
He was also named Wales Young Footballer of the Year on Tuesday and is now pushing to start the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in the absence of the injured Joe Ledley.
Wales coach Gary Speed is expected to turn to Allen to replace Ledley and, while he is taking nothing for granted, the youngster believes his top-flight experiences mean he is ready for the responsibility.
"I said to myself at the start of the year that my aim first and foremost was to get a Premier League start, and then from there to get my first international start," said Allen.
"I am an ambitious guy and I understand you need to play regular club football to stake a claim and as long as I can keep my place in the Swansea team I will remain optimistic of getting a place in the Wales side.
"You always have to be hopeful and ready for selection, throughout this week I have worked as hard as any other week and come game time we will see what happens.
"But any international manager wants their players playing at the highest level possible and me, Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams have the chance to compete at that level and I am sure it can only help us on the international scene.
"The grounds and occasions in the Premier League give you the experience you need at international level. Swansea had the play-off final at Wembley in May and we have played at Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
"You are playing against world-class players in great stadiums and that helps you cope with the demands of the international game."