Carl Robinson

Groups set for Euro 2016; Robinson says Wales have 'nothing to fear'

Robinson Wales vs. England Rooney

The stage is set.

The draw for Euro 2016 was held earlier today in Paris – here’s how the groups will look for the 15th edition of the quadrennial competition.

GROUP A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland
GROUP B: England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia
GROUP C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland
GROUP D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia
GROUP E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden
GROUP F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary

Vancouver Whitecaps FC currently don’t have anyone playing for these countries, but they do have a very interested observer in head coach Carl Robinson – a proud Welshman who represented his country 52 times.

As you can see, Wales has been drawn into Group B with rival England, Russia, and Slovakia.

This will be Wales’ first-ever Euro Championship and first major tournament since 1958.

“Brilliant, absolutely delighted,” Robinson said when asked about Wales’ group. “I think it’s a very tough group … but I think it’s a group that Wales has got to look forward to. Ideally, we would have liked to have avoided England, but let me tell you, ideally England would have liked to have avoided Wales as well. They’ve got more lose than we do. It will be a very intense atmosphere and hopefully both can progress out of the group.”

Robinson faced England twice in his career as a member of the Welsh national team.

October 9, 2004: England defeat Wales 2-0 at Old Trafford

On October 9, 2004, Wales fell 2-0 to England at Old Trafford after goals from Frank Lampard and David Beckham. And on September 3, 2005, Joe Cole scored for England in a 1-0 win at Millennium Stadium.

“They’re massive,” Robinson said of matches between Wales and England. “You’re talking about international football, you can play against Brazil, you can play against Italy, but when you play against England it’s a little bit special.”

All in all, Robinson believes Wales have a “very good chance” to progress next summer.

“We’re in our first major tournament since 1958 so you can’t go on how they previously managed the tournaments because we haven’t been there for the last 40 or 50 odd years,” he said. “So it’s something new, but they’ve got nothing to fear. They’ve got a fantastic young group of players that will go there all guns blazing without any fear. And those are the teams you have to watch.”

“You look at 2004, when Greece went through and won the Euros … why not Wales?” he continued. “They’ve got world-class players in certain areas and they’ve got a lot of Premiership players in their team at the moment. It’s something really to look forward to.”

The tournament is set for June 10 to July 10, 2016 in France. 

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