Welsh call and the derby red ... Will Vaulks' Rotherham United column

Will VaulksWill Vaulks
Will Vaulks

WHAT a rollercoaster few days!

I was sent off for the first time ever on Saturday, in the derby at Sheffield United, and then on Monday Welsh manager Ryan Giggs phoned me to tell me he was selecting me for Wales.

It sums up football really. You have massive highs and massive lows.

I've never had a senior international call-up before. I'm now in the squad for a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago in Wrexham and a Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia against Slovakia in Cardiff.

This is probably the biggest thing that has ever happened in my career.

Representing Wales is something I thought had gone. It's six years since I was part of the Welsh youth set-up and that's a long time in football. Now I've made the squad, I see it as a real challenge to go and prove myself. I'm just looking forward to showing them what I can do.

It's a fair jump, I suppose, going from playing for nothing when I first joined Falkirk to sharing a changing room with players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

The manager, Ryan Giggs, mentioned in his press conference that I had a good story about leaving Tranmere Rovers and never giving up.

It has been a long journey, but it's by no means finished just because I've got one call-up.

I'm a little bit nervous but I'm excited as well. I've wanted this all through my career so I've got to embrace it. If you'd have said six weeks ago that this was going to happen, I wouldn't have believed you.

My family are obviously excited and proud. My brother might come to the Trinidad & Tobago games. I've already had a lot of people on wanting tickets!

I'm putting this column together on Tuesday afternoon and I don't know the logistics of it all yet. I know we're meeting on Sunday and then training at Manchester United's training ground next week. I'm waiting for all the details to come through.

I qualify for Wales because of my mum who is Welsh through and through.

My mum and dad are on holiday at the moment. I rang my mum to tell her and she started crying.

She's very proud to be Welsh and her mum and dad were proud to be Welsh as well.

Her dad wasn't particularly into football but he would watch it whenever Wales were on television. He'd watch the football and also rugby union. We sometimes reminisce about him being glued to the telly when Wales were on.

My dad's English but he’s just as proud as my mum is.

Even though I've known for a couple of weeks that I might have a chance, it's still come as a massive shock to us all.


PLENTY has already been made of my red card for the tackle on George Baldock in the 2-0 defeat against the Blades at Bramall Lane.

Obviously I'm really disappointed with the outcome of the game and the fact that I lasted for only 27 minutes of it.

Apart from their early goal, we started quite well and I thought we were comfortable in the game. We were having a good spell just before I got a red card, which made it even more annoying.

Despite what some people might think about the tackle, and what some people have written about it, that I was out of control and trying to nail him, I absolutely wasn't.

I hadn't lost my head. I hadn't got angry because I'd given the ball away - you give the ball away in every game. It was just a case of trying to stop the counter-attack.

I misjudged what he was going to do. I thought he was going to continue down the line. If you know anything about football, you'd know that if I was trying to smash him I wouldn't have gone in in the way that I did.

If he'd have carried on down the line, I'd have blocked the ball, which was my only intention. The referee might then give a foul for me being a bit over-aggressive but that's all.

Their player has done well to chop back inside. I've barely even nicked him, to be honest, and e's made a bit of a meal of it. As soon as he sees the red card, he's back up.

It's frustrating. It's the first red card of my career. I couldn't believe it. You can see from my reaction that at no point did I think I was going to be sent off.

Having seen it back, I can see why the ref had made the decision he has. It does look a bit out of control. But it's only a block tackle down the line. That's why I'm so high.

It's a tackle I've made numerous times in my career. I'd never go in that high on a player. If I did, I'd break his leg.

I've got to move on from it. The three-game ban is the worst bit. That's killed me. I think three games is harsh. I haven't even hurt the player. I think a three-game ban should be for a headbutt or a two-footed tackle where someone can do real damage.

In some ways, it feels like a four-match suspension because I missed so much of the derby.

I accept that's the rule of the game, though. I'm really disappointed. I just feel that I've let everyone at the club down. That's why I went on Twitter and apologised.

We did look at appealing it but there weren't enough camera angles to show what really happened.

Like I say, I can see why the ref has made the decision. I just think it's the wrong decision. A booking and a strong word would have been enough.


FIRST Reading, then Sheffield United.

I keep getting my towel nicked, don't I?

I put one near the touchline before kick-off so I can use it to dry the ball if I need to before one of my long throws.

Just like at the Madejski Stadium, it wasn't long before a steward was making off with it at Bramall Lane.

I can see why opposition teams do it, even though the ref has said it's okay for it to be there. They want the towel taken away because it helps me throw the ball further.

It's funny, isn't it? Some people take the mickey out of the long throw, saying it's too direct and all that, yet teams are obviously afraid of it. They don't want the ball being thrown long into their penalty area.

It didn't really affect things that much at the Lane, to be honest. I can dry the ball on my shirt anyway.