Ryan Hedges hopes he can take the confidence gained from a scoring return to Aberdeen’s first team into the international arena this week.
The former Barnsley winger is in the Wales squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan on Friday and Belarus on Monday and he has joined up with Ryan Giggs’s squad with a spring in his step.
Hedges produced a man of the match display in the Dons’ 3-0 win against Ross County on Saturday, setting up the first goal for Greg Leigh before scoring the third himself to cap a fine individual display at Pittodrie.
Hedges hopes to continue where he left off on Saturday by earning a place in his national team’s starting 11.
He said: “It is good to go into the break with an Aberdeen win. It is always nice to get the international recognition.
“I have joined up with the Welsh squad full of confidence and I want to help the team to do well and to make sure we pick up three points from the home qualifier against Azerbaijan and then if we do that we can then look forward to the friendly against Belarus.
“The three points against Azerbaijan are paramount and in the friendly hopefully we can all get some minutes in the legs.
“Hopefully, I hope I will be coming back to Aberdeen with another two caps. I just want to go down and train and do well and try to push my case for being involved on Friday.”
Competition for places in the Wales side is fierce with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Manchester United’s Daniel James and Liverpool’s Harry Wilson, currently on loan at Bournemouth, all rivals for a wide role in Giggs’s squad.
But Hedges is far from daunted by the prospect and believes the chance to train with his international team-mates this week can only help him improve.
He said: “You can only learn from one of the best players in the world. We have a good squad at Wales and every player has something to offer and different qualities.
“Look at Gareth, Aaron Ramsey, who has dropped out, Harry Wilson and Dan James, who are playing in the Premiership. You can only learn training next to players like these.
“Obviously they (Bale and Ramsey) are huge names. But they’re your team-mates, so you can’t be too star-struck by them.
“You need to share a pitch with them. Wales have got a very good group on the whole.
“There are no egos and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing for domestically, everyone’s pulling the same weight internationally to try to achieve the same thing.
“We are all doing well and vying for positions. He has started really well at United so it is good to see quite a few of us Welsh boys going into these two games full of confidence.”