Regular readers will know that Viva Rovers has something of a distinct bias when it comes to championing the call-up of Doncaster Rovers players to the Wales squad. As such you won’t be surprised at all to read that we are delighted that Brian Stock has been named in the national side by John Toshack for Wales’ friendly with Croatia next weekend. Stock is included in a twenty-one man squad to travel to Croatia for the game on Sunday 23rd May.
Stock made his Wales debut against Russia in September 2009, becoming the first Rovers player to be called up to the full Welsh side since Eddie Perry in 1938, and indeed only the second ever Doncaster and Wales player along with Perry. Stock impressed both supporters and manager alike on his solitary Welsh performance, playing the holding midfield role as if he had been an international footballer for years. Its a mark of Stock’s ability that Toshack had only initially drafted him in for ‘experience’, despite having never won a full cap before.
Though injury has seen him absent for much of Rovers’ season Stock did return to fitness to feature in Doncaster’s final home game against Scunthorpe. With other Wales players unavailable due to injury and play-off commitments Stock has been recalled by Toshack who has reportedly kept in touch with the Doncaster captain througgout the season. A look at the Wales squad and through (bitter and depressing) experience of watching Toshack’s tactics in recent years Viva Rovers strongly expects Stock to start in Croatia, offering a perfect chance for him to cement a place ahead of the next qualifying campaign.
Looking at the full squad (listed below) its hard not to feel sorry for the omitted John Oster. Very much the forgotten man of Welsh football Oster has been very impressive and very consistent as an integral part of the Rovers team that finished in the top half of the Championship this season. Surely Oster would represent a better choice in terms of talent and experience than Andrew Crofts of Brighton who continues to get the nod from Toshack despite never really impressing in a Wales shirt.
Wales squad in full: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton), Boaz Myhill (Hull), James Collins (Aston Villa), Danny Gabbidon (West Ham), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Craig Morgan (Peterborough), Lewin Nyatanga (Bristol City), Sam Ricketts (Bolton), Ashley Williams (Swansea), Andrew Crofts (Brighton), Simon Davies (Fulham) Andy Dorman (St Mirren), David Edwards (Wolverhampton), Andy King (Leicester), Brian Stock (Doncaster), Craig Bellamy (Manchester City), Simon Church (Reading), David Cotterill (Swansea), Rob Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), Ched Evans (Sheffield United), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton)