Wales boss explains EURO 2024 snub for Bristol Rovers star Aaron Collins
Despite another career best season - the Bristol Rovers star has still not been rewarded internationally for his fine form.
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Wales manager Rob Page says he will introduce Bristol Rovers star Aaron Collins 'when the time is right' after his recent snub.
The former Sheffield United defender named his 25-man squad, and Collins was excluded, despite another career best season from the Gas star. Collins had been an outsider for a World Cup spot, and then eyed a call-up in March for their EURO 2024 qualifiers, stating it would be his dream to represent his country but despite his form, he was overlooked.
In April, Collins was crowned the League One Player of the Year, beating off competition from Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan, and joint-top scorer of the league Jonson Clarke-Harris. He registered 16 goals and 11 assists in his first season in the third tier, and has already attracted transfer interest this summer from an unnamed Championship club.
The Newport-born attacker will have to wait for his opportunity at international level however, with his only involvement for his country being a Wales Under-19 appearance back in 2015. His price tag is expected to increase once he receives the call from Page, and according to Joey Barton, Rovers will not sell Collins on the cheap this summer.
"I’m in contact with the other coaches who have eyes on him every week," said Page. "If we thought he was ready, if there is anybody out there that isn’t in the squad, it’s for a reason. It’s not that we don’t know about him, they’re all in the system.
"When the time is right we’ll introduce him in to the squad. We are aware of him and he’s had a great season. We’ll continue to monitor him and when the time is right we’ll introduce him to the group."
The 25-year-old did not take part in the recent EFL training camp, which was for players to keep their fitness, after the season had ended a few weeks ago. Collins' club teammate Luca Hoole was involved, and has been called up to Wales Under-21's squad, to face Denmark next month.
Bristol City defender Joe Low - who played on loan in League Two with Walsall for five months, was a surprise inclusion. It is understood by BristolWorld, he left a 'big impression' on Page, and his coaching staff and as a result received a call up. He has been called up in the place of former Rovers defender Tom Lockyer - who was admitted to hospital during the Championship Play-Off final between Coventry City and Luton Town on Saturday.