Eastwood in Wales squad
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Southend's Freddy Eastwood is in confident mood after being called up to the Wales squad for the first time.
Eastwood has been named in the squad that will face New Zealand in a friendly on 26th May and the Czech Republic in a Euro 2008 qualifier on 2nd June.
The Essex-born striker's Welsh ancestry came to light last month when he was contacted by the Football Association of Wales to investigate his eligibility.
"It's brilliant news for me and obviously I'm delighted to get the chance to play for my country," he told Southend's official website.
"The better the players around me, the better I'll play. It is going to be a great experience.
"I was asked what nationalities I have in my family and my mum's side of the family is Welsh. It's great news and hopefully I'll get my chance."
Eastwood is still suffering from a back injury, but has no concerns about recovering in time and is even hoping to play in Southend's final game of the season on Sunday.
"I've got three weeks to get fit before we start training, so I think I'll be okay. I may even be fit for the Southampton game on Sunday and hopefully I'll get on the scoresheet there."
Meanwhile, Barnsley's Daniel Nardiello is in the squad for the first time, having previously turned down an invitation to play for Wales.
Nardiello, whose father Don was a Wales international in the 70s, was part of the English Football Association youth set-up and had hoped to play for England.
However, he has now agreed to join up with the squad and could win his first cap for Wales, along with Eastwood, Cardiff full-back Chris Gunter, Oldham defender Neil Eardley and Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey.
Wales squad to play New Zealand in a friendly in Wrexham on 26th May and a Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic in Cardiff on 2nd June:
Coyne (Burnley), Hennessey (Wolves), Price (Ipswich), Bale (Southampton), D Collins (Sunderland), J Collins (West Ham), Eardley (Oldham), Evans (Wrexham), Gabbidon (West Ham), Gunter (Cardiff), Morgan (Peterborough), Nyatanga (Derby), Ricketts (Hull), Crofts (Gillingham), A Davies (Yeovil), S Davies (Fulham), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Koumas (West Brom), Ledley (Cardiff), Robinson (Toronto), Bellamy (Liverpool), Earnshaw (Norwich), Eastwood (Southend), Giggs (Man Utd), Nardiello (Barnsley).