Welsh Euro-flop spoils Ja­cob­son’s come­back party

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BYDANNYCARO

JOE Ja­cob­son was this week re­flect­ing on one of the big­gest dis­ap­point­ments of his ca­reer af­ter Wales Un­der 21s missed out on a place in next sum­mer’s Euro Cham­pi­onships.

Re­turn­ing from a five-month spell on the side­lines af­ter tear­ing his me­dial lig­a­ment in pre-sea­son, left-back Ja­cob­son was un­able to help Brian Flynn’s men over­turn a first leg deficit, though they came close to forc­ing ex­tra time at Villa Park.

Go­ing into Tues­day night’s play­off sec­ond leg trail­ing 3-2, Wales took the lead twice only to be pegged back to 2-2. They hit the post in the clos­ing stages which, had the shot gone in, would have taken the match into ex­tra time.

Play­ing his last match for the Un­der 21s, Ja­cob­son played at cen­tre half, mark­ing As­ton Villa’s Gabby Ag­bon­la­hor. He said: “Af­ter an 18-month qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign, it all came down to the width of a post. Eng­land looked tired and I felt that had it gone to ex­tra time we would’ve gone on to win.

“I would have pre­ferred to have played badly and gone through. Miss­ing out on the fi­nals is one of the big­gest dis­ap­point­ments of my ca­reer. It would have put Wales on the map and been amaz­ing to play in Swe­den.

“Per­son­ally, I thought I did well, con­sid­er­ing it was only the sec­ond time in my ca­reer that I played in the mid­dle. It was my first game back from in­jury which is al­ways the hard­est. The man­ager was pleased with me and wished me all the best and told me to get into the se­nior team.

“I en­joyed play­ing against top Premier League play­ers and want to be play­ing at that level week in, week out. It can only im­prove my game.”

Ja­cob­son, 21, now hopes to help Bris­tol Rovers push on in the League One. He said: “We made a shaky start but are now on a roll. We’re aim­ing for the play-offs.”

The Welsh­man rep­re­sented Great Bri­tain as a ju­nior at the Mac­cabiah Games in 2001 but he will not be in Is­rael for next year’s event. “I can’t see Rovers let­ting me go,” he said. “I’m in the fi­nal year of a two-year con­tract and have got to get back into the team fol­low­ing my in­jury. I need to play games and earn a new con­tract.”

Brad­ford City boss Stu­art McCall is keen to ex­tend Dean Fur­man’s loan un­til the end of the sea­son.

The Rangers mid­fielder, whose loan fin­ishes in Jan­uary, has made seven ap­pear­ances for the League Two club.

“I’m pleased with what Dean’s done and I still be­lieve there’s more to come from him. His game has got a bit of ev­ery­thing,” said McCall.

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