Home News Wes Burns: Ipswich Town winger hoping to make belated senior Wales bow

Wes Burns: Ipswich Town winger hoping to make belated senior Wales bow

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Wes Burns was named in the League One team of the season.
Venue: Tarczynski Arena, Wroclaw Date: Wednesday, 1 June Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Sport website and app, plus live text online. Highlights BBC Wales.

Wes Burns is hoping he will be third time lucky and will finally pull on a Wales shirt having been so close in the past.

Burns, 27, has been drafted into the Wales squad for the World Cup play-off final and Nations League games.

The Ipswich Town player has been called up twice previously but is yet to make a senior appearance.

“2016 was the last time I was in a senior camp but obviously did not get a chance get a cap,” Burns said.

“But hopefully with the number of games we have coming up over a short period of time, I can get that cap now.”

Wales are away to Poland for their opening Nations League game in Wroclaw on 1 June before the World Cup play-off final against Scotland or Ukraine on Sunday, 5 June.

Robert Page’s side also host the Netherlands and Belgium in the Nations League before an away game against the Dutch in Rotterdam on Tuesday, 14 June.

Cardiff-born Burns was initially called up in 2015 and then helped Wales prepare for Euro 2016 and even travelled to France with Chris Coleman’s squad for the finals.

“I was in the bigger squad before they had to trim it down for the Euros,” Burns added

“Tom Lawrence got injured before that, so Chris Coleman said ‘we need you to fly with us to France just in case.’

“I was only there for a couple of days then they did not need me.

“I was very young so just being part of it was a massive learning experience for me. I took a lot of that experience of the squad back with me into my football back home.

“I think that helped me kick on to progress in my career.

“I was so close yet so far, but just being part of it was the main thing for me.”

Burns, 27, admitted the latest Wales call up came as a surprise: “I was there rushing around the house trying to find my boots and shin pads and trying to get everything else ready.

“But I was buzzing to be called up.”

Versatile Burns can play in a variety of positions – normally down the right – and has led a nomadic existence since his early days at Bristol City.

He had loans at Forest Green Rovers, Oxford United, Cheltenham Town, Fleetwood Town and Aberdeen.

But he settled at Fleetwood making more than 150 appearances between 2017 and last summer.

“Going to Fleetwood was everything I needed in my career at the time,” Burns said.

“I wasn’t getting regular football at Bristol City which is what every young lad wants to do, they want to get as many games as they can under their belt.

Wes Burns celebrates a goal for Wales Under-21s
Wes Burns scored six goals in 18 appearances for Wales Under-21s

“Fair play to Fleetwood, when I needed it most they gave me the platform to go and play.”

Last summer’s move to Ipswich has also paid dividends, with Burns combining 13 goals and eight assists to make the League One team of the season.

He spent the last week in Portugal at the Wales training camp alongside the likes of Daniel James and Harry Wilson who were his companions in the Welsh under-21 set up.

Burns said: “I’ve known them for a long time it does inspire you to try and get your head down, knuckle down and work to get to the places you need to be in your career.

“Dan James and Harry Wilson are prime examples of that they have done their stuff, proved their worth week in week out.

“Harry is a champion this year in the Championship and I am sure he will smash it again in the Premier.

“Dan James does it every week in the Premier and they are massive examples of what you can do if you get your head down and you work hard.”

For now Burns is working hard hoping to be a part of Wales’ busy June, starting with the Nations League opener in Poland, the key World Cup play-off final and Nations League games against Belgium and home and away against the Netherlands.

Burns said his parents were “bouncing off the wall” at news of the latest call. Now, after all the near misses, he hopes to earn that elusive senior cap

“it would be one of the proudest moments of my career to be able to pull on that shirt and give all I can for my country.”

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