Ludlow names 22-strong Wales squad for World Cup dates

Jess Fishlock
Jess Fishlock has scored Wales' only goal in their France 2019 qualifying campaign, but the team have yet to concede

Wales coach Jayne Ludlow has named a 22-player squad for their 2019 World Cup qualifying matches against Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

United States-based forward Peyton Vincze and midfielder Charlie Estcourt are missing with injuries.

Wales face Kazakhstan in Cardiff on 24 November and go to Bosnia-Herzegovina four days later.

Ludlow's team beat the Kazaks 1-0 in September and drew 0-0 in Russia in Group One, which also includes England.

Vincze, who made her debut in the draw against Russia in St Petersburg, has stayed in the US for treatment with Ludlow saying it was a disappointment that she was unavailable.

"We're unfortunate in a sense that we don't have vast numbers of female players playing the game right now, but what we do have is a crop of 30-34 players we can trust and rely on to do the job for us," she said.

Ward to return

Wales' leading all-time goal-scorer Helen Ward is back in contention after giving birth to a son in September.

Watford striker Ward, 31, travelled with the squad to Russia but was not involved in the action.

"She's played a few games since and she's built up her minutes competitively, which is great for us. She has a bundle of experience that can help the younger players on and off the pitch", Ludlow told BBC Sport Wales.

Welsh League needs improvement

Just two of the squad, Cyncoed Ladies pair Shaunna Jenkins and Gwennan Davies, are with Welsh Premier League clubs.

Ludlow hopes the domestic league can be developed to provide players with an experience closer to that of leading professional English sides.

"When you compare the top level of the game and the professional environment that we expect our top players to be in, unfortunately our Welsh Premier League doesn't give us that right now", explained Ludlow.

"Hopefully a few years in the future, it will be a different environment, probably it won't give us full-time professionals but it'll give us a different environment. Right now, it doesn't give us what we need to challenge senior international level players."

Wales squad: Skinner, Ingle, Rowe, Vine, O'Sullivan, Fishlock, Griffiths, Jenkins, Dykes, James, Harding, Davies, Evans, Lloyd, Horrell, Ward, Ladd, Lawrence, Chivers, Roberts, Green, Nolan.

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