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Davies into unknown

English Barclays Premiership

Simon Davies has taken a step into the unknown this week.

Our promising midfielder has travelled to Belarus - one of the former states of Russia - with the Welsh Under-21 squad for the opening European Championship qualifying match in the City Stadium, Borisov on Friday.

Davies has impressed since his arrival from Peterborough United with Matthew Etherington in January - both made Premiership debuts last season - and is expected to earn his eighth Under 21 cap. The 20-year-old also has a Welsh B cap to his name and was called into Mark Hughes' senior squad last season.

He has played for the reserves in the opening weeks of the season and boss Chris Hughton said: "It's always nice when you are called up by your country and Simon has done well from the time he arrived here.

"It's always difficult when you join a side that is playing in a different division, especially a Premiership club, and it is now about Simon taking it a little step further. He played a few times last season including up at Old Trafford and I thought he did very well. He's been regularly involved in first-team squads, now he has to try to break into the team."

Davies will certainly not want a repeat of his last international appearance. Back in May, he broke a bone in his hand playing for Wales Under-21s against Northern Ireland. The injury needed bolting together and he spent the summer break with pins in his hand - preventing him from playing his beloved golf!