' The brilliant Gareth Bale story '

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' The brilliant Gareth Bale story '

Postby Forever Blue » Thu May 18, 2017 10:55 am

The brilliant Gareth Bale story that demonstrates the special team spirit behind Wales' epic Euro success


Thursday 18th May 2017


Chris Coleman has revealed a brilliant story about Gareth Bale which perfectly underlines the unique team bond that helped Wales march to the semi-finals Euro 2016.

It is almost a year on from the moment when Coleman's aces kick-started the greatest summer Welsh fans have known by defeating Slovakia in their Euro opener.

And Coleman outlined how the Bale factor was just as important off the pitch as it was on it as Wales embarked upon their never-to-be-forgotten Euro adventure.

He says the lack of any 'I am' about the man who became the world's most expensive footballer has been key to every player buying into the Welsh ethos, which Coleman hopes can still get his team to the World Cup in Russia next year.


Asked how employees could be motivated and how Bale could be used as an example, Coleman told business leaders: "You need motivation for the group. But when you have someone like Gareth Bale, who is at the top of his game and is such a good character who buys into the team, it becomes easy maintenance.

"There is no ego to Gareth, or our other top players like Ashley Williams, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen. It becomes easy to deal with someone like that.

"Let me tell you a story about our Euro qualifier in Israel, which we won 3-0. We were back at the hotel after the game and had a couple of beers. It's rare that we do that, but there were no games for a week so the players just relaxed.

"My abiding memory of the night is Owain Fon Williams, our reserve goalkeeper who was playing for Tranmere then, playing his guitar and Gareth Bale sitting down next to him to sing.

"Owain was with Tranmere Rovers, this was Gareth Bale of Real Madrid. Yet they stayed together pretty much the whole of the evening having a good old laugh. No barriers, just two team-mates for Wales.

"When you have the team ethos that evening demonstrated, it's very special."

Coleman continued: "There is no ego to Gareth, he just wants the same as everyone else in the squad which is Welsh success.

"He and the other senior players lead what we are doing. If Gareth was a difficult character, said 'This is Wales, I'm Gareth Bale, one of the best players in the world, need different things to everyone else', then that could cause me a problem.

"But that's not the case. The only things Gareth wants to know is 'Am I doing it right' and 'Do you have a game plan that is right?'

"If it's not correct he will ask why, in a professional manner. When you have good people like that you just let them get on with it themselves. Empower people."

In his fascinating Q&A at the event held at the SWALEC Stadium, Coleman also revealed how he wrote down his preferred Wales team on a piece of paper - and hid it in a drawer for a couple of years before finally picking it and inspiring the Euro success.

The reason, he reveals, is because he was wary of pushing his own methods upon the players after taking over from the popular Gary Speed.

"I was taught a huge lesson in the first 18 months and almost lost my job because of it - and rightly so," Coleman told the business leaders in an inspiring speech.

"I wrote down my preferred team on a piece of paper, but didn't pick it. I put it in the bottom of a draw and left it there, just picking it out occasionally to look at it myself.

"I didn't have the courage to do exactly what I wanted to do, because of the circumstances in which I took over.

"My advice to anyone in business, whether banking or whatever, is be honest with yourself and the staff under you. As leader, do what YOU want to do, even if it is different to what everyone else is thinking.

"That means being forceful at times. But I can tell you that if you're speaking to players in a dressing room, and don't really believe in what you're saying, which was the case with me early on, they will smell that straight away.

"It took two years before I finally had the courage to pick my own formation."
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' The brilliant Gareth Bale story '

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