Chris Gunter says promotion is goal for Wales players but Georgia’s on minds too

Chris Gunter has revealed Wales’ golf-loving squad hope to tee up Nations League success by watching the Masters.

Wales head into their final two games – at home to the Republic of Ireland and Finland – top of Group B4 and with promotion to the top tier of European football a distinct prospect.

The Republic are the first visitors to Cardiff on Sunday and Gunter says Gareth Bale and company will be glued to the action in Augusta when they are not on the training field.

Golf fan Bale was rested for Thursday’s friendly draw with the United States, and when the Tottenham forward was spotted on a laptop during the game fans joked that he was watching the Masters.

“Who doesn’t keep an eye on the Masters?” Gunter said after winning his 98th cap against the USA in Swansea.

“It’s one of the best sporting events of the year and we’ll certainly be looking at what’s going on.

The bad news for the Wales squad, however, is that they could miss the end of the Augusta action.

Masters Golf
Masters Golf

That is down to a combination of a 5pm kick-off in Cardiff and an earlier Masters finish on Sunday, with the event being staged in November rather than its traditional April slot.

“There’s a clash, but it would certainly be nice if we can get a good result on the weekend,” Gunter said.

“Then if anybody has a pound or two on any of the players, hopefully they can do well on the weekend.

“The most important thing for us is the football, but it is something nice to watch in the next few days in the hotel.”

Gareth Bale File Photo
Gareth Bale File Photo

Wales have been boosted by the return of Bale after a knee injury which delayed his second Spurs debut following his season-long loan move from Real Madrid.

Bale has started four games in the past month as well as making two substitute appearances.

“He’s always in good shape, that’s your job as a footballer,” Gunter said.

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“It would be disrespectful to him to say he’s in the best shape now, because of his professionalism since he started breaking in for club and country.

“Whenever he comes away with Wales he performs to an extremely high level. I haven’t noticed any different.

“He’s the exact same guy when we started playing together in the under-17s.

“We know we’re lucky to have him and hopefully he can do over the next week what he’s been doing for many years for us.”