Jess Fishlock column: I feel such honour to have reached 100 caps

Jess Fishlock

It is a huge week in my life as I prepare to play for my country, Wales, for the 100th time on Wednesday.

No footballer has represented Wales 100 times and it is a very proud moment to have reached the milestone.

I have just flown in. I've come to Wales via Seattle, where I have been in pre-season preparation, and before that I was in Melbourne, which is where I last flew into Wales from, for the Cyprus Cup.

I am pretty exhausted from the travel and not entirely sure what time zone I am in, but now all the focus is on Wales.

A family affair.. I hope

I think when it comes on Wednesday it is going to be a little bit emotional and maybe a bit overwhelming too. I think that is when the emotion is going to kick in. I am pretty excited already.

My family are going to be at the game against Northern Ireland and it is huge for me that they will be there.

They have been with me for my whole career and are the reason I am where I am and that I am who I am, so if they didn't turn up, there would be questions asked! They deserve this moment as much, or more, than I do.

Jess Fishlock
Jess Fishlock will win her 100th cap when Wales play Northern Ireland at 16:00 BST on Wednesday, 5 April

I never even thought about the possibility of getting to 100 caps, since my first game, I've always just wanted to play for Wales.

Even when I got to 50 caps, I thought another 50 was miles away.

I remember my first game was against Switzerland away in 2006. We won 3-2 and scored a free-kick from a training ground routine, which any footballer will tell you is one of the best feelings in the world, when that comes off. That was my first cap.

To have reached the milestone of 100 now is amazing. I am extremely proud. Football is full of opinions, so it feels nice to become a statistic.

A different sport

The landscape of women's football, in Wales and globally, has changed dramatically in the time I have taken to make it to 100 caps. It is like a different sport now to what it was then.

Women's football has really jumped levels in the last five years, which is great to see. Ten years ago there was nothing, you literally had to pay to play.

I was extremely lucky because I was seven when I went to my first women's football club.

The Cardiff City Ladies team, if it wasn't for them and the coaches dedication, I would never have got anywhere. There was nothing for women in football back then.

They enabled a seven-year old to achieve their dream and I'll live it by playing for Wales for the 100th time.

I have told Jayne Ludlow, the national team manager, that I am 100% committed to this campaign, I can't say I will play past that, but for this campaign, I believe in what we are doing and I would really love to play in a major tournament. That is the dream.

We don't want to be that maybe team anymore. We want to be the team that makes it.

Moyes disappointment

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Moyes 'deeply regrets' slap remark

I was disappointed when I landed in Wales and caught up with the news to hear the story about David Moyes and what he said to a female BBC reporter.

It is extremely patronising and I can't imagine David Moyes speaking like that if it was to a male reporter.

I don't think he would go to that tone or that way of speaking.

And I think this is something that male managers have to get used to. When a male manager is speaking to a female reporter, the way he speaks maybe has to be different, but it certainly does not have to be patronising.

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