We’ll look to future after World heartbreak
WALES may have narrowly missed out on a place at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, but as Jayne Ludlow’s side prepare to take on Portugal in two international friendlies, striker Kayleigh Green believes the side has a very bright future.
“We showed so much passion, so much belief, so much determination and so much character in those qualifiers,” Green explained to FAW.cymru at the team base this week.
“We now need to take that into the next campaign, and hopefully we’ll be able to achieve something then.
“For a small nation, we’re very confident. We’ve got a lot of young players coming through alongside our experienced players, and those young players are pushing us on that little bit more.”
A 3-0 defeat to England in Newport back in August in the final group game was Wales’ only loss of the qualifying campaign, but it proved to be a crucial one, as it was Phil Neville’s Lionesses that booked their place in France next summer ahead of Wales.
Attentions will now turn to qualifying for the 2021 Women’s Euro finals that begin next September, and making sure that the side go one better next time.
“For me it was about how well we did as a nation,” Green replied when asked to reflect on the campaign as a whole.
“We went into it looking at second place, but for the majority of the time we were top.
!The last game just didn’t go our way, but on the whole it was a massive positive for us. Also, to sell out Rodney Parade within 24 hours, we’ve never had that as a nation.
“That just shows how far we’ve come. People are looking at us in a different way now.”
However, the emotions were very different in the days and weeks that followed the defeat. “It was emotional,” added Green, who was Wales’ top scorer in the campaign.
“It touched a lot of people on a personal level. It took me a few weeks to get over it because we fought so hard.”
Ludlow’s team will play two friendlies against Portugal, with the first tonight in Rio Maior (6pm).