Jess Fishlock column: Wales must avoid Kazakhstan complacency

Jess Fishlock
Jess Fishlock has played for clubs in Australia, the United States, the Netherlands and Germany

In her latest column for BBC Wales Sport, Seattle Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock looks forward to Wales women's Euro 2017 qualifier in Kazakhstan and says the women's game will continue to grow with further investment.

We face Kazakhstan away in our latest Euro 2017 qualifier on Tuesday knowing it's going to be difficult, despite their position at the bottom of the group.

We're aware of what we can do against them after a 4-0 win in Haverfordwest last November but we're equally aware of how different the conditions will be away from home.

It's important we don't get complacent because it will be difficult.

We're currently third in Group 8 and I think the situation is probably what we thought it might be.

Austria and Norway are the strongest teams in the group and we've faced both teams away from home, losing both games.

Hopefully we can beat Kazakhstan to keep in touch with Austria and Norway.

Transitional phase

The Euro 2017 campaign so far has been an interesting one.

Jayne Ludlow's come in and we've gone through a transitional phase, brought through new players and tried new systems of play, which is difficult.

In international football, you don't get people together as often as you'd like.

Overall, it's been OK. We've had some good results and some we've not been too pleased with. We can be happy but we're also aware there's a lot to work on.

If we don't qualify for a major tournament, it's going to feel like a failure but we're making strides.

The men's senior side have qualified for a major tournament and what they have done is phenomenal.

Jess Fishlock
Jess Fishlock has spent the National Women's Soccer League's off season on loan at Melbourne City

Everyone is hugely excited for Euro 2016 to come around.

We want to do the same - we want to qualify for a major tournament - we want to emulate them and we also want to support them.

Getting shirty

There are no women's replica Wales shirts available to buy for people who want to support Wales at the Euros.

For me, it seems silly for a manufacturer as big as Adidas not to have that option. They say it's a "fit-all" size.

I like a kit that fits but the reality is we don't have that right now and I believe we will soon.

It's not a big issue because we're here to play football.

United State profit from success

It's a different situation for the United States to any other team in the world.

They're one of very few - if not the only - female team who create a profit for their association.

When you break that down and see the numbers, they absolutely have a case.

An association can say we don't generate a profit, so they'll budget accordingly.

USA lift World Cup trophy
United States beat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 Women's World Cup

They could then say 'How can we justify equal pay when the men generate all the money?'

The way women's football is progressing is huge - what we get now compared to 10 years ago is huge.

We've got to keep fighting, supporting each other. I firmly believe that, in order to get the profit you want, you have to invest.

That's true in any walk of life. From a business perspective, f you want your product to succeed, you have to invest in it and take a risk with your money.

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By doing that, it enables the product to keep getting better and it will eventually make a profit. I think that's the case with women's football.

For us to make a profit, we have to have investment in the game.

You look at the Matildas (women's national team) in Australia. They have been invested in consistently and now they've qualified for the Olympics for the first time since the 2004 Athens Games.

The women's game is getting there - but it could get there quicker.

Jess Fishlock was talking to BBC Wales Sport's Dafydd Pritchard

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