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Bellamy faces tough choice on his own

Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy

Mark Bowen has real sympathy with Craig Bellamy's potential dilemma over his international future - but the City star will have to make the difficult decision by himself.

If the Blues are back in Europe next season as hoped, then Wales skipper and star striker Bellamy has admitted that at 31 he will need to seriously consider the demands of a long, hard season.

City's assistant manager and fellow Welshman Mark Bowen confesses to hoping that Craig's head will rule his heart if he believes the extra games could adversely affect his fitness and form.

Bellamy warned last week: "If we get to the Champions League - which is what we are aiming for - and I'm still a big part of that, I'll have to be realistic. Am I able to play 50 or 60 matches a season? Probably not. Then I'd have to look at it."

Bowen said: "I'll take my Welsh hat off here and admit I'd hope he was with us all the time, but any decision would have to come from Bellers. There's no pressure from within the club to cut back on his international commitments. He has to make that call by himself.


Craig knows his body well and the demands that he can make of it. He looks after himself and he is well aware that club football is his bread and butter, and that the rigours of a long season can have an effect.

...Mark Bowen


Bellamy was an unwilling spectator at Wales' final dead-rubber World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein last night after picking up a second yellow card in Helsinki at the weekend.

Bowen added: "The thing about him is that he is like a soldier for Wales - he's passionately patriotic, and he would never want to let his country down, so it would be a massive decision for him if he felt he couldn't do both his club and his country justice. He's very conscientious and a top professional. He would be agonising over it."

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