Tom Bender believes his international experiences are helping to make him a better player.

The highly-rated Colchester United defender has received another call-up for Wales’ under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifier in Andorra, later this month.

Bender, 18, is currently one of the youngest members of Brian Flynn’s squad.

And the promising U’s starlet feels he has already benefited greatly from playing for his country.

Bender said: “The more chances you get to add bits to your game by playing at international level, the better it is.

“It can’t help but improve you as a player and we have players in our squad with Championship experience.

“Playing international football is a totally different experience to club football.

“Being able to travel around Europe and seeing how different countries and different cultures operate has been brilliant.

“Playing for Wales is very important to me.

“It’s always a special feeling to be called up and it’s a great honour.

“I want to play at the highest international level that I possibly can and that’s definitely something that I’m aiming for.

“There are a lot of good young players coming through at the moment and the future looks bright for Wales.”

For more on this story and all of the latest Colchester United news, see Wednesday's Gazette.