Last week, we held an Instagram live with January signing David Cotterill, who discussed his club career, playing for Wales, mental health and what it’s been like in his short time at Barry so far.
We also asked David to put together a team of the best players he has played alongside throughout his career, and the result is a pretty impressive XI…
GK: Darren Randolph
Having played between the sticks for Birmingham City during Cotterill’s time with the Blues, Randolph is currently with Premier League side West Ham United. He has been capped 42 times by the Republic of Ireland, and was name in the 2018-19 PFA Championship Team of the Year after his heroics in goal for Middlesbrough.
David says: “Technically very good in terms of with his feet and his hands. Great shot stopper, great talker and great in the changing room.”
RB: Kyle Walker
A teenage Walker was coming through the ranks at his hometown club Sheffield United when Cotterill played for the Blades. The right-back is now a two-time Premier League winner with Manchester City and a regular for England, helping the Three Lions reach the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
David says: “He used to play behind me at right-back when I was right wing at Sheffield United. Him and Kyle Naughton were both brilliant at the time.”
CB: Ashley Williams
Having first played together for Wales, Williams and Cotterill actually spent more time together in Swansea City shirts during the winger’s three year spell at the Liberty Stadium. Williams would go on to earn legendary status at the club, and also captain Wales during their historic run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
David says: “Ash speaks for himself. I’ve seen him grow from being at Swansea to being captain of Wales.”
CB: Danny Gabbidon
Gabbidon and Cotterill played together for Wales on ten different occasions, including on Cotterill’s debut against Azerbaijan in October 2005. Gabbidon was capped 49 times in total by his country, and spent the majority of his club career with Cardiff City and West Ham United before retiring in 2015.
David says: “If he didn’t have as many as injuries as he did, he’d have had an amazing career. A great lad, too.”
LB: Leighton Baines
Cotterill’s one full season in the Premier League was spent with Wigan Athletic in 2006-07, where Leighton Baines had established himself as one the best left-backs in the country. He would move to Everton at the end of the campaign, and has been at Goodison Park ever since, racking up over 400 appearances for the Toffees.
David says: “Wand of a left foot.”
CDM: Joe Allen
Like Williams, Allen was a teammate of Cotterill’s with both Swansea and Wales. ‘The Welsh Xavi’ moved to Liverpool in 2012, and is currently playing Championship football with Stoke City. He was named in the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament after his influential performances during that magical summer in France.
David says: “He holds the spine of the Wales team together so well. Never loses the ball.”
CDM: Gary Speed
Although compatriots, Cotterill never played international football with Speed, but spent two years at Sheffield United with him. Only four players have played more Premier League games than Speed, who was capped 85 times for Wales and was manager of the national team at the time of his devastating death in 2011.
David says: “A great player, a great leader. A legend.”
CAM: Aaron Ramsey
A teammate of Cotterill’s at both Under-21 and senior level for Wales, Ramsey is another unquestionable star of the national team in recent years, and was named alongside Allen in the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament. A Cardiff City academy graduate, Ramsey spent 11 years at Arsenal before moving to Italian champions Juventus last summer.
David says: “He just does special things with his feet.”
RW: Gareth Bale
How do you do justice to the talent that Gareth Bale has? A four-time Champions League winner, Wales’ all-time top goalscorer and all-round magician, the Real Madrid man is the most talented player the country has ever produced. Cotterill played alongside him on ten occasions at international level.
David says: “It was like he was playing FIFA at times. He’d pick the ball up on the edge of the box and just skin everyone. The best player I’ve played with.”
ST: Craig Bellamy
Another international teammate of Cotterill’s, Bellamy was Wales captain between 2007 and 2011 and was capped 78 times in total by the national team. He scored 170 goals across his club career, most of which was spent in the Premier League with teams such as Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Cardiff City.
David says: “Leads the line well in a madness of a front three.”
LW: Ryan Giggs
Rounding off the team is the current national team manager, who wasn’t too bad on the pitch either. Giggs is one of the most decorated footballers of all-time, having won a total of 34 trophies during a 24-year career at Manchester United as well as a host of individual awards. He played alongside Cotterill twice for Wales.
David says: “He was my hero growing up. Getting the chance to play with him was a dream come true.”