European Women’s Championship: Jayne Ludlow names strong Wales squad for qualifiers

Josie Green having shirt pulled in Norway match
Wales lost 1-0 in Oslo in their last qualifier

Wales have no fresh injury issues for this month’s European Women’s Championship qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and group leaders Norway.

Manager Jayne Ludlow has named a squad of 26 for both qualifiers.

The Faroe Islands visit Rodney Parade on Thursday, 22 October, before Wales entertain Norway at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday, 27 October.

“In terms of availability of players, it has been a good selection process for us,” Ludlow said.

Wales’ record cap holder Jess Fishlock is included, as is captain Sophie Ingle, who made her 100th appearance in Wales’ 1-0 defeat by Norway last time out.

Helen Ward (91 caps), Natasha Harding (83 caps) and Angharad James (80 caps) are all included, but Wales’ other centurion, Loren Dykes, is unavailable for personal reasons.

Bristol City forward Megan Wynne also misses out with a long-term knee injury.

Ludlow names seven uncapped players in her squad and there are two changes in the goalkeeping ranks.

Coventry United goalkeeper Olivia Clark returns for international duty while 18-year old Brighton goalkeeper Josie Longhurst receives her first senior side call-up.

Georgia Walters, Chloe Williams, recent Arsenal signing Beth McGowan, Poppy Soper and Reading’s Lily Woodham also have the chance to fight for a first cap.

Wales beat the Faroe Islands 6-0 in the reverse fixture.

“These are two very different opponents and we have prepped two completely different gameplans, which I am sure the girls will cope fine with,” Ludlow added.

“They are two games I believe we can get decent results in.”

Wales are second in qualifying group C behind runaway leaders Norway, which would be good enough for a play-off berth.

However, Wales will need to gain a point against Norway to keep their fate in their own hands if fourth-placed Northern Ireland win in Belarus in their qualifier on Tuesday, 27 October.

Wales squad: Laura O’Sullivan, Olivia Clark, Poppy Soper, Jess Fishlock, Sophie Ingle, Hayley Ladd, Gemma Evans, Rhiannon Roberts, Anna Filbey, Angharad James, Nadia Lawrence, Rachel Rowe, Natasha Harding, Elise Hughes, Helen Ward, Kayleigh Green, Josie Green, Charlie Estcourt, Lily Woodham, Maria Francis-Jones, Kyle Nolan, Carrie Jones, Georgia Walters, Chloe Williams, Josie Longhurst, Bethan McGowan.

BBC News