Following Welsh football over the last 15 years has been somewhat of a painful journey for anyone from Wales, let alone a devoted football fan like myself. A journey, I am sure my older predecessors have taken over the last 57 years since the national side took to Sweden in the 1958 World Cup.
Since then, Wales have not qualified for a major tournament and have slipped hopelessly down the FIFA rankings, leading hope to be lost for many supports of the red dragons. Players like Ryan Giggs and the late Gary Speed, the pinnacle of talent in their generations, have passed through their national careers with not even a European Championship finals appearance to their name, a great shame for everyone involved in Welsh sport, let alone the players themselves.
The current generation of players, however, are looking to right these wrongs and have shown in this current 5 match unbeaten qualifying campaign, that they may be the force that will bring Welsh football out of the shadows of older generations and into the light of Euro 2016 In France. With players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey leading the attack and with Ashely Williams in the heart of the defence, with a plethora of Welsh talent surrounding them, it is no surprise that Wales have improved the way they have.
Supplemented by the ‘down to earth’ nature of Chris Coleman, hope can only be installed in a Welsh fan like myself. Although feeling hopeful, I will always have my doubts, an impossible trait to shrug off after watching Wales over the last 15 years. That being said, I will always be optimistic that I can, come the end of this qualifying campaign, write an article entitled ‘How well will Wales do in Euro 2016’.