Author Topic: Arsenal's Jayne Ludlow returns to Wales's colours  (Read 3546 times)

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Arsenal's Jayne Ludlow returns to Wales's colours
« on: December 29, 2010, 06:56:23 AM »
Arsenal's Jayne Ludlow returns to Wales's colours against Bulgaria• Midfielder to win her 50th cap on Wednesday

  • Welcomes new coach Jarmo Matikainen

Tony Leighton
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 21 November 2010 21.13 GMT
 
The Arsenal and Wales midfielder Jayne Ludlow, who earlier this year walked out on the national team having been a long-time critic of the FA of Wales, will win her 50th international cap on Wednesday after returning to the fold in the wake of Jarmo Matikainen's appointment as the first full-time head of the country's women's set-up.

The 31-year-old Ludlow, acknowledged as Wales's finest ever female player, said before the meeting with Bulgaria at Cefn Druids FC: "I fell out with the last manager [Adrian Tucker] and after our exchanges became so heated I walked away because I thought it would be best for the girls if I wasn't there.

"I thought I might end my career on 49 caps and that would have really bugged me but I've had so many years of frustration. There's been progress with the junior teams but at senior level the same people have been employed for so long and we've wasted the last six or seven years."

Ludlow lambasted the FAW when, in 2003, the governing body seemed set to disband the senior team after pulling them out of qualifying for the 2005 European Championship. "I just wanted the FAW to take women's football seriously," said Ludlow. "That's not really happened until the last few months but with Jarmo's appointment I think the future will be a lot healthier."

Ludlow's 50th game will be the first as national coach for Matikainen who, before taking up his appointment last month, had spent a decade working in women's football for his native Finland's FA.

"We've only had one camp with Jarmo," said Ludlow, "but we've seen how focused and well organised he is and he's obviously got a great understanding of the women's game. I believe he's exactly what we need to take us forward."

www.guardian.co.uk
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