Wales' Jess Fishlock against Estonia at Cardiff City Stadium. Pic: Getty Images

Wales’ Midfielder Jess Fishlock Named In Squad For Greece And France Matches After Picking Up NWSL Most Valuable Player

By Lucy Rees

Jess Fishlock will be included in Wales Women’s squad to face Greece & France following on from being named the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) most valuable player.

Fishlock who plays for OL Reign and Wales as a midfielder was announced NWSL most valuable player earlier this week and has been called an “inspiration” by Gemma Grainger, Wales’ manager.

“It epitomises who she is in terms of her hard work and dedication,” said Grainger.

“To be named most valuable player of arguably the best league in the world with some of the best players, she should be so proud.”

“To put it into context, she’s playing in a league with World Cup winners and Olympic gold medallists and she is the most valuable player.”

“It’s even more impressive that she has been travelling home for international fixtures,” Grainger added.

“In lockdown, she worked incredibly hard to recover from an ACL injury and she continues her hard work behind the scenes.

“I’m not sure I can do it any justice with words. She continues to inspire us”.

“When she’s in and around camps and around players, whether on the pitch or off it, it’s not the words that she speaks – although she does speak very well – it’s her actions and you can’t help but take that in,” Grainger added.

“For the likes of Maria, Carrie [Jones] and Esther [Morgan], our younger players who are coming through, they’re learning from one of the best players in the world and for us to have her in the group, it’s such a valuable experience.”

Grainger announced her 26-player squad to continue their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign – playing at Parc y Scarlets on Friday 26 November before heading to Britanny to play Frace on Tuesday 30th November.

They continue their unbeaten journey, of three wins and one draw, in second place of Group I, with France leading.

Grainger is without Reading’s Rachel Rowe for the matches and also Leicester forward Hannah Cain, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury days after winning her first Wales cap last month.

“She only showed a glimpse of her potential in the Estonia game. We recognise her talent and we’ll be supporting her through it,” Grainger added.

“It’s fair to say that she’s absolutely devastated.

“She’s got a long future in the game, so nine months does seem like a long time but we’re helping her put it into perspective. No one is going to forget about her, we’ll be with her every step of the way”.

Maria Francis-Jones returns to the squad after captaining the U19s last month to promotion to League A in the 2022 UEFA WU19 EURO
Qualifying Round.

The last time Cymru played at Parc y Scarlets, they claimed a 6-0 victory over Kazakhstan and will be hoping for a similar result over Greece in Llanelli.

Cymru: Laura O’SULLIVAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia CLARK (Coventry United), Poppy SOPER (Plymouth Argyle), Hayley LADD (Manchester United), Gemma EVANS (Reading), Rhiannon ROBERTS (Liverpool), Esther MORGAN (Tottenham Hotspur), Maria FRANCIS-JONES (Manchester City), Lily WOODHAM (Reading), Morgan ROGERS (Tottenham Hotspur), Sophie INGLE (Chelsea), Anna FILBEY (Charlton Athletic), Angharad JAMES (North Carolina Courage), Josie GREEN (Tottenham Hotspur), Charlie ESTCOURT (Coventry United), Jess FISHLOCK (OL Reign), Carrie JONES (Manchester United), Chloe WILLIAMS (Blackburn Rovers, on loan from Manchester United), Ffion MORGAN (Bristol City), Megan WYNNE (Charlton Athletic), Natasha HARDING (Reading), Ceri HOLLAND (Liverpool), Kayleigh GREEN (Brighton & Hove Albion), Helen WARD (Watford), Elise HUGHES (Charlton Athletic), Georgia WALTERS (Liverpool).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *