Hockey: Abi Welsford proud ahead of 100th Wales Women cap

Welsford Wales hockey
Abi Welsford made her Wales debut in 2003

Wales Women hockey captain Abi Welsford is set to win her 100th cap on Wednesday against France in Lille.

Welsford's side have already wrapped up the three-match series with wins in the first two Tests.

"I'm really excited for the game," the 34-year-old Swansea City Ladies forward told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"I'm sure any sportsperson would say just to get one cap for their country is great, but obviously I'm really proud as well to get my 100th cap."

Welsford made her international debut more than a decade ago and she was named captain of Wales in June 2013.

"In the early days we didn't have quite so many competitions, so it's taken me quite a while to get to my 100th," she added.

"But I can actually remember my first cap: it was in 2003 playing in Cardiff in the Celtic Cup, and I just remember sitting on the bench in the first half being very inexperienced and then just waiting for my opportunity to get on.

"Luckily that came in the second half and I even managed to score on my debut - so that was a bit of highlight there, although we ended up losing 2-1 to Ireland.

"The novelty never wears off and as you get further towards the end of your career you value it even more."

Welsford picks out her two Commonwealth Games - at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 - as the memorable points of her career.

"It's definitely the two Commonwealth Games that have been a major highlight," she said.

"The one in Delhi was the first time that I'd played in such a big event with lots of different sports.

"I was thinking Glasgow was going to better it and I can honestly say it did, just the atmosphere there and having a 'home' Games with lots of familiar faces in the crowd was just a different experience."

Wales are preparing for their EuroHockey Championship division two campaign, which takes place from 18-25 July in Prague, Czech Republic.

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