Andy King insists there is plenty of life left in Wales’ old guard ahead of new manager Ryan Giggs naming his first squad.
Wales will compete in the four-team China Cup next week – against the hosts, the Czech Republic and Uruguay in the southern Chinese city of Nanning – and Giggs names his squad for the tournament on Thursday.
The former Manchester United winger and assistant manager has inherited a batch of exciting youngsters, among them Chelsea midfielder Ethan Ampadu, the Liverpool pair of Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson, and Sheffield United forward David Brooks.
But King, part of the Wales squad which reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals under Giggs’ predecessor Chris Coleman, told Press Association Sport: “It’s not a change of the guard just yet.
“The youngsters are really strong, we have some good players coming through and it will be interesting to see what the manager wants to do with them.
“But we have players who have been around a long time but are still young.
“We were given the chance at a young age and we are still here to help the young lads.
“They are still teenagers so we have to help them learn the game and what representing your country is all about.
“You want to play for as long as you can. You want to help but you don’t want to be handing anything over.”
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey and Stoke midfielder Joe Allen are among the players still in their twenties and should be at their peak.
And King is currently enjoying a new lease of life on loan at Swansea, helping them climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The 29-year-old midfielder knows China well from his time at Leicester – and believes the tournament will benefit Wales before the inaugural UEFA Nations League starts in September.
“I have been to China a couple of times and it is a passionate nation,” King said.
“Hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and it’s something a bit different.
“You play European teams all the time, but we’ve got China in our first game and the extra time together will help us blend.”
Wales failed to build on Euro 2016 success in missing out on this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
And Welsh football was rocked in November when Coleman chose to end his near six-year reign and join Sky Bet Championship strugglers Sunderland.
“What Chris achieved for Welsh football was massive, so the players were shocked,” King said.
“No disrespect to Sunderland, but I felt it was a strange move.
“As a player who played under him I can only say he did a great job, and hopefully we can have a similar relationship and success with the new manager.
“Ryan has a tough act to follow, but he has had plenty of experience of working under a great manager in all those years at Manchester United.
“So hopefully he can take that on board, guide us in the right direction, and create more great memories.”