Roy Evans believes Wales’s gamble on youth is at last paying off, thanks to the impact of youngsters like Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Evans, the former Liverpool boss now working as Wales manager John Toshack’s coach, has no fears for the young Welsh side when they come up against the might of Germany on Saturday.
Wales take on the unbeaten Group D leaders in a hugely daunting Euro 2008 qualifier at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
But Evans has been impressed by Hennessey, 20, who has staked a genuine claim to be his country’s first choice number one in recent games.
Evans said: "Of all the kids we have brought in, I suppose Wayne and Gareth have been the biggest bonuses.
"Wayne is only a kid but he has come in and looked the part. It is hard for keepers to shine at his age, normally goalkeepers don’t really get their chance until they are mid-20s. It is a hard position to fill, but the lad has exceeded all expectations.
"And Gareth looks a fantastic player. He has yet to prove that on the international stage but from my point of view he already looks a great player.
"That is why Spurs spent #11m on him. Now everyone can see why after seeing the way he has come into the Premier League this season."