Wales' Ramsey 'still has a lot to offer' - Page

Wales manager Rob Page has told captain Aaron Ramsey to concentrate on getting ready for the rigours of another Championship season with Cardiff City.

Ramsey, 33, had an injury hit campaign for club and country following his return to the Bluebirds last summer.

And after Wales’ Euro 2024 exit in the play-off final penalty shoot out defeat by Poland, there was speculation Ramsey was considering his international future.

But Page told BBC Wales Sport: “He is our captain at this moment in time, he wants to get his body into a position where he is fit and can cope with the demands of Championship football which is not easy.

“If he can do that I have no doubt he will carry on.”

Ramsey, a three times FA Cup winner with Arsenal and a Serie A champion at Juventus, made just seven Championship starts and six substitute appearances for Cardiff last term, scoring three goals.

He was restricted to two Euro 2024 outings and though he was in the squad for the play off games against Finland and Poland, he played no part having just returned from injury.

Ramsey has scored 21 goals in 84 Wales caps and Page said: “He is as frustrated as anybody with the injuries he had last season.

“As far as I am concerned he has a year left on his contract at Cardiff, I think he needs to get himself in a position where he can go through the demands of another Championship season and if he does that, I have said you don’t become an average player with the ability and skill he has. He still offers a lot.”

Asked whether Ramsey would continue with his international career, Page said: “We will have that conversation when the time is right.

“But right now he is looking forward to getting fighting fit and getting his body in a position where he can play and have the demands of a domestic season with Cardiff two games a week. If he can do that then no doubt he will continue.”

Having missed out on the Euros, Wales have friendlies against Gibraltar and Slovakia next month and it remains to be seen whether Ramsey will be included in the squad, which is due to be named at the end of May.

Also doubtful for the summer tour is Tottenham Hotspur defender Ben Davies, who captained Wales in Ramsey’s absence.

Davies missed the first the last five games of Spurs’ Premier League season with a calf problem. Page admitted 86 times capped Davies is “touch and go” for the friendlies.

“We are still going to have conversations with him and the club and see where we are at. It’s foolish for us to push players to the limits and have them break down again.

“After a long season they need a break and so we have to be sympathetic with the club, work closely together and come up with a plan of what is best for him.

“It might be he comes on camp and does some rehab, it might be he will benefit for the rest. I will speak with the medical team and we will have a plan on what we are going to do.”

Page has had nearly two months to mull over the disappointment of failing at the final hurdle to qualify for this summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany.

And he admitted: “It was a hard one to take I am not going to lie. But it says a lot about how far we have come to be a penalty kick away.

“It is heartbreaking because I thought we were the better team on the night and we faded before the end of the game. It just was not meant to be.

“But we learn from it we are on the right path I am pleased with the direction we are going in. We are in a transition and we are trying to introduce some young players in the squad to make us better over the next couple of years.

“We all wanted to go to the Euros, of course we did, but our plan now is we have two friendlies in June I am going to use it to benefit and get some of the young lads in to give them the experience of the environment we have created there and then get us ready for the Nations League in September.”

Page’s position had been called into question by some fans in the wake of the Poland defeat.

But the FA of Wales moved quickly the next day to publicly assure him of his position as he serves a contract through to the next World Cup.

The Wales boss said he was “grateful” for the swift backing and as the introduction of youngsters continues, he said: “I think the FAW, the board and the chairman saw that, they see the job we are going and the path we are on and the journey we are on.”

Page was speaking in Manchester as representatives of all four home nations joined forces to support a new programme to help people from low income backgrounds to get into coaching.

Under the initiative, Chase Bank will provide fully funded access to 2,900 introductory coaching qualifications and 85 professional coaching bursaries.

The programme will provide free learning tools for volunteer coaches that will be accessible via the FA of Wales and other home nation websites.

Page urged young potential coaches in Wales to make the most of the scheme. “It is there for you. Take full advantage of it, football will become better for having more coaches.

“There are hundreds of coaches out there who do not have the finances at the minute, because rightly so, they have to priorities money in other avenues in the household.

“But now doing this it gives them the opportunity to become a coach.”