Reece keen to emulate Welsh soccer star grandad

Wales player Lewis Reece is looking to make some more family history when he plays for Wales in this year’s European Championship.

Cardiff-born Reece’s grandfather was also a Welsh international, but in the round-ball game.

Gil Reece played 29 times for Wales at soccer. His playing career encompassed 100 games for Cardiff City and 210 for Sheffield United, whilst he also enjoyed spells at Newport County, Pembroke Borough and Swansea City before he retired.

Sadly, he died in 2003, aged 61, before seeing Lewis win his first cap for Wales in rugby league.

“He supported me throughout my career so I want to make his proud,” Reece explained.

“I saw him pretty much every day of the week and always gave me tips on how to play, as well as good boots to play in. 

“I always played football as a kid and would loved to have played for Cardiff City and Wales like him but Celtic Crusaders Academy came in for me and it’s been rugby ever since.”

Reece won his first rugby league cap for Wales in 2010, when he converted a Gareth Thomas try in a game against Italy.

He is looking forward to embarking on a European Championship campaign which begins on Friday evening with a tough test against Scotland in Workington.

“Every game is going to be tough and while Scotland will be a very difficult start with players like Danny Brough leading them, France will be something else especially with the atmosphere down there,” he added.

“I played for South Wales Scorpions against Toulouse and I remember how much the crowd get on your back. I really want to be a part of that game.

“We’d love to win the competition again, keep the trophy and qualify for the Four Nations and World Cup, it’s a big thing but we know that every side has Super League players so anyone can beat anyone on the day.”

Reece has been playing for Toowoomba Clydesdales in Queensland in 2014. He is pleased to be back on home soil once again after widening his experience Down Under.

Australia was a great experience,” he said.

“It was good to play alongside some former NRL players and this year has really helped me in my career path.”

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