FORMER Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera pupil Rubin Colwill made national headlines with his inclusion in the Wales squad for Euro 2020.

The highly-rated 19 year-old has played just 191 minutes of senior football since making his Bluebirds debut in February.

Remarkably, he began the season playing academy football, only making his debut for Wales Under 21s in March.

But, after taking his place in Wales’ pre-Euros training camp in Portugal, he made the cut for the final 26-man squad.

Colwill attended the same Ystalyfera school as Ben Davies, who he cheered on in Euro 2016 while preparing for his GCSEs.

Now he will be representing the senior squad, alongside childhood heroes such as Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsay and Joe Allen.

"These are players who I'd watched as a kid in 2016, and the standard is unbelievable, I'm pinching myself," said Colwill.

"My target was just to play regular for the Under 23s at Cardiff, and maybe get a few sessions with the first team.

"It's been a crazy year, but it comes so fast and football changes so fast, it's all a bit surreal and I can't quite believe it.

"I didn't know that I might be picked, the gaffer just said train as hard as you can and see where it goes from there."

He added: "I think everybody dreams of lining up for your country at a major tournament, it's the pinnacle of your career.

"When you're a kid you dream of playing for your country, and to do it in such an unexpected way is unbelievable."

Wales boss Robert Page explained the shock inclusion of the Cardiff midfielder by saying that he “blew us away” in training.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he’s come in,” Page said on announcing the squad that would be flying out to Baku.

“He just blew us all away with how he conducted himself, he’s a top professional already and a great lad to have around.

“He’s really impressed me, he’s got a presence and maybe he has got something that we’ve not already got in the middle of the park.

“He can play off the right, he can play as a 10, he can play in midfield – and that’s a bonus as well when you’re looking to pick a squad.”

Having been in the Cardiff set-up since he was eight years old, Colwill progressed full-time to the Bluebirds' under-23 squad in July 2020.

He was given his full debut by Bluebirds manager Mick McCarthy in the 3-1 Championship win over Coventry City in February.

The Neath-born player earned his first call-up to Wales' U21s the following month, coming on against the Republic of Ireland.

He came on as an 83rd minute substitute in last weekend's pre-Euro friendly against France, and was an unused sub against Albania.