Star player missing from Wales squad announced to play Football Ferns

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Star player Jess Fishlock will be missing from the Wales team to play New Zealand’s Football Ferns in Spain on Wednesday June 29.

Wales manager Gemma Grainger says five-time Player of the Year Fishlock (35) will stay with her United States club OL Reign, rather than travel to Spain for the friendly with New Zealand.

“It was a sensible decision that Jess and I came to together. We want Jess to be able to perform well in September onwards, and we knew this was the right decision,” Grainger said when announcing her squad to meet the Ferns.

Midfielder Fishlock, who has been awarded an MBE for services to football and the LGBT community, became the first player to make 100 appearances for Wales. She has scored 31 goals in her 119 appearances so far.

Meanwhile, Manchester United goalkeeper Safia Middleton-Patel receives her first full international call-up.

Grainger sees the New Zealand game as an important part of her team’s preparation ahead of their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on September 6.

“It’s an amazing time to be part of Welsh football. I’ve felt it in the last twelve months, I feel lucky that I have felt it at this time.

“With the progression of the women’s team but the men’s team as well and what the men did last week in qualifying for that World Cup, putting the Welsh language on a world stage, putting the team on a world stage, it’s a real special time.

“For us, we are excited about the Slovenia game in September. I’ve been to a full Cardiff City Stadium. I don’t know if we can get a full Cardiff City Stadium, but I’d like to give it a hell of a go.”

Wales squad

Laura O’SULLIVAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia CLARK (Coventry United), Poppy SOPER (Unattached), Safia MIDDLETON-PATEL (Manchester United), Rhiannon ROBERTS (Liverpool), Josie GREEN (Unattached), Hayley LADD (Manchester United), Gemma EVANS (Reading), Rachel ROWE (Reading), Lily WOODHAM (Reading), Sophie INGLE (Chelsea), Anna FILBEY (Unattached), Angharad JAMES (Orlando Pride), Georgia WALTERS (Sheffield United), Carrie JONES (Manchester United), Ffion MORGAN (Bristol City), Meg WYNNE (Unattached), Elise HUGHES (Unattached), Kayleigh GREEN (Brighton & Hove Albion), Helen WARD (Watford), Tash HARDING (Unattached), Ceri HOLLAND (Liverpool), Chloe WILLIAMS (Manchester United), Morgan ROGERS (Tottenham Hotspur), Chloe BULL (Bristol City).

Upcoming fixtures

Norway v New Zealand
Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, Norway
Sunday June 26 (3am NZT)

Wales v New Zealand
Pinatar Arena, Pinatar, Spain
Wednesday June 29 (5am NZT)

New Zealand squad

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