Euro 2020: Wales youngsters look to learn from veterans of 2016

A Euros like no other gets underway

Wales are just 24 hours away from the start of their Euro 2020 campaign and five games away from a repeat performance of their historic 2016 route to the semi-finals.

Oh, how the Red Army would love to see that.

Five years ago, the sense of togetherness in the team was much talked about, and I’ve seen no absence of that unity this week.

Watching them train every day, the laughter is audible from across the pitch, that spirit palpable. There is a genuine sense of fun among the players.

Wales team, including captain Gareth Bale, training at the Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium in Baku

The youth of this squad is hungry to make their own history and not be known as the team of old, but the team of now.

The seniors have told me the youngsters are probably tired of hearing about the memories of the previous journey through the Euros. Not so. They lap it up, and learn from it. The veterans have been here before but the emotion doesn’t change.

Joe Allen told me on Tuesday - when you put on that jersey, it can never be just a job. There is too much pride.

For the first-timers, like Chris Mepham, being here is beyond his wildest dreams. Eight years ago, he was still playing Sunday League football.

They all have nerves, they all have stories of how they got here, and no matter how much footballers are revered they are still human.

These are some of my favourite bits from the week. My favourite answers to the questions I asked that perhaps didn’t make it on TV.

Ben Cabango told me what this means to his family. Connor Roberts is putting off tying the knot for these Championships.

Allen’s son is just as excited as his dad for it all to start.

Dan James doesn’t believe a word Ben Davies says when they play games in the hotel.

And, Mepham can’t quite believe he’s here. Have a listen. A warning though, the Welsh spirit is contagious.