There was something unusual about Wales Women’s kit last night, but did you spot it?
Wales Women began their preparation for their Euro 2021 qualifiers with a 2-0 loss away in Italy yesterday evening.
A brace from Italian striker Ilaria Mauro was enough to see off Wales, in their first friendly of 2019, but the result will not be a massive concern for Ludlow’s youthful side who gave debuts to Emma Jones and Cori Williams at a snowy Cesena.
Grace Harrell also made her debut for Wales as a second-half substitute, with Jess Fishlock, earning her 113th Wales cap, coming closest to getting the visitors on the scoresheet.
The game was historic for Jayne Ludlow’s side, as it saw player names on the back of shirts for the first time ever for the women’s team.
The players had their say on the matter, including record cap holder Jess Fishlock, who tweeted: “To many this step for us is a step they prob don’t understand. But for us – a long 12 years of fighting & we finally have our names on our shirt.”
Striker Helen Ward also voiced her opinion on the matter, saying “We’ve always felt pride in pulling on that red jersey, the name on the back just tops it off.”
Having names on shirts for the first time is another step forward for Women’s football in Wales, following the teams strong campaign in the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers last year, just missing out on qualification following a 3-0 defeat to rivals England in the last matchday last August.
Wales’ next match is another friendly against Republic of Ireland on 28th of February, which will be played in Malaga, Spain, with the draw for the EURO 2021 Qualifiers taking place a week before on the 21st of February, and Wales Women will be looking to qualify for their first national tournament ever.
-By Daniel Bevan (@DanBevJourno)