Wales: Charlie Savage and Lewis Koumas continue footballing family tradition

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, From left to right, Charlie Savage, Robbie Savage, Jason Coumas and Lewis Coumas are part of Welsh football tradition.

There is a long tradition of young Welsh footballers following in their fathers’ footsteps.

Wales star Cleve Jones succeeds his father Ivor, who played 10 times.

His 1958 World Cup teammate Mel Charles – brother of the legendary John – saw his son Jeremy continuing the family tradition.

More recently, midfielder Billy Bowden earned a cap for Wales to emulate his father Paul.

Manager Robert Page has now included two sons of Wales internationals in his squad for friendlies against Gibraltar on Thursday 6 June and Slovakia on Sunday 9 June.

Former Manchester United midfielder Charlie Savage at Reading, 21, has earned his first cap to the great pride of his father Robbie.

Liverpool striker Luis Comas, 18, is also in the 25-man squad looking to follow in the path of his father Jason, who scored 10 goals in 34 appearances for Wales.

But although Page has joined Wells alongside the parents of the current defendants, he insists the children deserve recognition.

“They’ve earned the right to be here, let me tell you,” Page said. “They are great players and I can’t wait to work with them.

“We’ve seen Charlie a little bit. Louis, I saw his debut with [Wales] Under 21s and scoring, it was a difficult goal. He took it with the class.

“I’m really excited to work with him. He can play as a striker or if he comes in from the left, he’s a goalscorer and he’s shown that for Liverpool. I’m excited about that.”

Charlie Savage featured for Wales in the 4-0 win over Gibraltar last October at Stoke Racecourse and produced an eye-catching display.

“We are watching what they are doing at club level and Charlie will have had a frustrating time at club level.

“But I know what he is capable of doing at international level.

“We did that with JJ (Jordan James). JJ when he is ready will play most of the games for us because of what he has done with his level of performance.

“At Birmingham he was in and out, and when he played he didn’t play as a six where we played him.

“If the players play well for us and show me they have earned the right to wear the shirt, they will continue to be selected.”

Page admitted that he had a lot of calls from Robbie around the time of Charlie’s first call-up last fall. He has had fewer contacts since then.

But he said: “It’s all good banter. You all want the best for your children. He fully supports Charlie.”

“As a player, it’s nice to have someone like your dad who really cares.

“Whether it’s just a conversation or to push you, he won’t give him two minutes.

“Charlie is going to have a career because of his own ability anyway, but when you have a father like Robbie who pushes him, it helps.”

Page has not had a chat with the Koumas senior, but is looking forward to meeting him again and has fond memories of the talented former Tranmere, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan and Cardiff midfielder.

“He was an unbelievable player. I think he could have played at the top for a lot longer than he did,” Page said.

“He was amazing with both feet. He’s a great player.

“I haven’t seen Jesse in years, but I’m sure I’ll have a chat with him.”

Charlie Savage and Luis Comas were reportedly previously interested in England, for which they also qualified.

But now Charlie and Lewis have been capped through the Welsh system.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” Page said.

“We are confident that when they come into the environment they will stay with us.

“They see the path, and that’s important.

“They see that I am not afraid to promote young players and we are showing our intent now in the summer.”

Charlie Savage and Luis Comas don’t have a lot left to prove – but it looks like the famous Red Wall Wales fans will have some proud dads in their number for many years to come.

The Welsh father and son tradition will continue for some time.

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