Jayne Ludlow is relishing the prospect of another strong Cyprus Cup campaign after announcing the Wales women’s squad for the tournament which starts on St David’s Day.
Wales will face Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland after being drawn in Group C.
Ludlow’s squad finished sixth in last year’s Cyprus Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Hungary on finals day.
But Wales are on a high after ending their UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 qualifying campaign in Newport last September with a 3-0 victory over Israel and a very creditable 0-0 draw against Austria, who won the Cyprus Cup in 2016.
Manager Ludlow said: “The girls love every minute of being part of our national team and representing Wales.
“They are really looking forward to taking on the opponents that we have been drawn against, as the Cyprus Cup gives us a great opportunity to challenge ourselves against varying levels of international teams.
“There are teams in and around us in terms of rankings, and the potential to play teams ranked 10 or 15 places above us, so it’s a great tournament that gives us the chance to test ourselves.
“It also offers the chance to play against teams from outside Europe as well, which is always a great learning opportunity for the players.”
Wales start their campaign against Hungary on March 1st before facing the Czech Republic two days later.
The group C campaign comes to a close against the Republic of Ireland on March 6th with the final days action taking place on 8th March to determine the final standings of the popular 12 team competition.
Striker Natasha Harding, 27, who played last year told faw.cymru: “It is intense and it is hard work.
“But if we want to be at the level we were against Austria in our last match then you have to work, be fit and be at the top of your game.
“Last year was a really good tournament for us, not just playing wise but as a squad too, and since then we haven’t really looked back. It’s all been about development and our work has been done with a purpose.”
CYPRUS WOMEN’S CUP 2017
Hungary v Wales, KO 15:30
Wales v Czech Republic, KO 12:30
Republic of Ireland v Wales, KO 12:30
Cyprus Cup 2017
Group A – Belgium, Italy, Korea DPR, Switzerland.
Group B – Austria, Korea Republic, New Zealand, Scotland.
Group C – Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland, Hungary, Wales.