A historic moment awaits Wales this international camp as they play their 200th international fixture against Slovenia on Friday evening.
After their first game against Georgia was postponed in September, Ireland opened their long-awaited FIFAWWC qualification campaign to Sweden on a chilly October night in Tallaght, Dublin. The home side put on a strong defensive display against the Olympic silver medallists and second ranked team in the world, but ultimately fell to a 1-0 defeat due to an unfortunate own goal from Louise Quinn.
Women’s football is at an inflection point in the Republic of Ireland. With big sponsorship deals, an enthralling national league and players making names for themselves on the biggest stages, it is a highly exciting time for all involved.
“What we have been trying to do is switch fields very quickly, and then find spaces and have crosses also, and be relentless. I think that was ok. When you score 10, it’s pretty good.”
These were the words of a satisfied Sarina Wiegman as England wrapped up a successful first camp, securing an emphatic victory over Luxembourg without having to move out of second gear.
Sarina Wiegman’s England era got off to a high-scoring start on a balmy September evening in Southampton. On a night that saw glimpses of the present and the future, the Lionesses eased past North Macedonia, left with only the feeling that it should have been more emphatic.
A new era begins this week as England’s Lionesses start life under their new manager, Sarina Wiegman. A renowned name in the women’s game, the Dutch national brings with her plenty of prestige and experience. Her arrival also brings hope that she will oversee a change in fortunes for the Lionesses side that has won just four of their last 12 matches since the completion of the World Cup in 2019.
“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been a really positive whirlwind.”
This was how Gemma Grainger described the three weeks since she was revealed as the new Welsh Women’s National Team Manager. It is hardly an understatement as the new coach attempts to hit the ground running, getting used to new surroundings, building relationships with a new set of players and even learning a new national anthem.