Live Match Hub: Cymru v Denmark
International
12 April 2021

Live Match Hub: Cymru v Denmark

GREEN EXCITED BY NEW GENERATION

11 hours ago

Cymru striker Kayleigh Green made her 50th international appearance on Friday and spoke to BBC Sport Wales over the weekend about the achievement and the players coming through the pathway system.

"Being selected to play for your country is big enough," said Green. "But hitting your 50th cap is massive, I'm proud to receive it, not only for me but for my friends and family. It's a massive achievement and one I will always remember."

Green started in the 3-0 defeat to Canada alongside Ceri Holland, who was making her international debut, and the striker welcomed the competition as the side begin a new era under manager Gemma Grainger.

"The young players want our shirt and us experienced players we want that competition. It's important for the nation, because through the years we haven't had that."

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POSSESSION POSITIVES FOR GRAINGER AHEAD OF DENMARK

11 April 20218:06am

Cymru return to action on Tuesday night (13 April) when Denmark visit the Cardiff City Stadium (7.15pm) as new manager Gemma Grainger looks to build on the positives from the defeat to Canada. 

Despite the 3-0 reverse on Friday night, Cymru created chances and showed a positive approach in their attacking play against a very impressive Canadian side at the Leckwith Stadium. Striker Kayleigh Green made her 50th international appearance in the match while Esther Morgan (below) made her debut for her country as a 2nd half substitute.

"I think some of the football that we played in possession was outstanding," said Grainger after the match. "I can't wait to watch that back because, for me, building on that is going to be a key way of us moving forward in terms of our playing style."

Denmark are currently 14th in the FIFA Women's World rankings are expected to provide Grainger and her squad with another difficult test, and claimed a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on Thursday evening. Chelsea's Pernille Harder, widely-regarded as one of the best players in the women's game, captains the side.

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FREE MATCH PROGRAMME

09 April 20219:33am

Download the free match programme for the game between Cymru and Canada by clicking on the link below. 

Download Match Programme

GRAINGER REFLECTS ON POSITIVE START

08 April 20216:03pm

Gemma Grainger addressed the media on Thursday ahead of her first game as Cymru manager as her side take on Canada in an international friendly at the Leckwith Stadium (6pm).

"It's been a great week and exactly how I hoped it would be in terms of meeting the players," she explained. "I feel like I've been here a long time which is a nice feeling and it's really pleasing that we've started how we mean to go on. The focus for us is on the process, at the end of this camp we want to know where we are.

"One thing I've been most pleased with is how welcome I've been made in this environment. It's a real strength of this team, and it was something I was envious of before I became a part of it. The pride for playing for the badge and for the country is so powerful. To take that into a game isn't something that team can always do, but this team can.

"If you want to be the best you've got to beat the best, and these games will give us the opportunity to find out what we want to know and need to know. It shouldn't be easy, we don't want it to be easy. The type of opposition that we're playing will really put us in a position to reflect and learn what we can.

"The template is finding a way to be competitive and finding a way to win. We want to come out of these games with key learnings that we can take forward. We have a very clear plan and our focus is very much on what we do. Our game plan for tomorrow is something that we've been working on all week - to use the strengths of the players in this group.

"I'm incredibly excited going into these two games and I hope the fans are excited too. One of the things I'm looking forward to the most is bringing them back into the stadium. For us, as players and staff, we want to make everyone proud and make everyone feel like their part of this team and that we're on this journey together."

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HARDING READY FOR TOP TEN CHALLENGE

08 April 20215:49pm

Cymru vice-captain Natasha Harding spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon and highlighted the immediate impression made by new manager Gemma Grainger on the group as the side prepare to take on Canada tomorrow evening.

"Gemma's been quick to come in and say how great the group looks to the outside and how she wants to build on that," said Harding. "She's very people-orientated and that will help this group of players. She's willing to learn our values and culture and for us that's a massive positive.

"We want to qualify, that's our biggest thing. We want our squad to be competitive and Gemma is someone who can push us to that next level. I want to get to a major tournament and I will do everything I can physically and mentally to do that. I'm probably more enthusiastic now than every before because I know I have to be at the top of my game every time I come in. I consistently try to find things I can work on all the time. If I anything, I want it more than ever before, and I think you will see a better version of myself over the next few years.

"We've got two tough opponents (in Canada and Denmark) but we believe we will learn a lot from that which will help push us to the next level. It shows where we are in that top sides want to play us, and that's a positive in itself. Why not test yourself against a top ten team in the world? Personally, I'm going to relish it, and I'm sure all the girls feel the same."

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RECENT FORM – CYMRU v CANADA

08 April 202111:50am

Gemma Grainger takes charge of Cymru for the first time on Friday as Canada visit the Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff (6pm) for an international friendly.

It will be the first time that Cymru have taken to the field in 2021, and while last year ended in a disappointing failure to qualify for the EURO 2022 finals, the side finished the campaign on a high with a 3-0 win over Belarus in their last match back in December through goals from Natasha Harding, Rachel Rowe and a penalty from Jess Fishlock (below).

Prior to that victory, the side recorded a 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands with Helen Ward and Lily Woodham on target, while Harding also added a brace to her international goal tally. However, the victory came in the middle of two 1-0 defeats to Norway which ultimately ended the qualification dream.

Meanwhile, Canada have already played three games in 2021 as Bev Priestman's side suffered respective 1-0 and 2-0 defeats to the United States and Brazil in the SheBelieves Cup, but also claimed a 1-0 win over Argentina through a 90th minute goal from Sarah Stratigakis.

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PREPARATIONS CONTINUE

07 April 20215:38pm

Gemma Grainger has been spending plenty of time on the training ground with her Cymru squad this week ahead of the international double-header against Canada and Denmark.

The squad have certainly taken to the new manager with Jess Fishlock, Angharad James and Ceri Holland all speaking positively about the impression she has made during her first camp since her appointment last month.

"My conversations with Gemma so far have been really positive," said Holland. "She's just told me enjoy the experience and be myself so that's been really promising. As a new person on camp it's nice when somebody makes you feel comfortable. She has a clear philosophy about how she wants to play and it's very exciting to be a part of the setup."

Here are a few photos as the preparations continued on Wednesday.

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PRIESTMAN LOOKING AHEAD TO CYMRU CHALLENGE

07 April 20215:06pm

Canada Head Coach Bev Priestman spoke to the official Canada Soccer website recently ahead of her teams two friendlies against Cymru and England.

"The matches will be a great test for us as we build towards the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer," said Priestman. "The camp will give us the opportunity to face two different type of opponents in a tight turnaround. Canada Soccer will continue its concerted effort to secure the release of players, so it will give us the opportunity to continue assessing the group and see where we are."

Like new Cymru manager Gemma Grainger, Priestman has spent time working with the England Lionesses at intermediate and senior team level. "I'm excited to get back in with the group and continue building towards where we want to be come the summer," she added. Canada are currently ranked 8th in the FIFA Women's World Rankings while Cymru are in 31st place.

JAMES TARGETTING CYMRU SUCCESS

07 April 20214:53pm

Midfielder Angharad James also spoke to the media on Tuesday and offered her opinion on the first couple of days of training under new manager Gemma Grainger.

"It's all positive," said James. "Gemma's come in and she's inspired us in a few days. From the first meeting everyone was inspired and itching to get out on the pitch which as a manager is what you want from your players. The intensity has been very high and we're seeing a style of play and philosophy come through and it's a very exciting time to be playing in a Welsh shirt."

Despite missing out on a place at the EURO 2022 finals, James was keen to emphasise that there remains a fierce ambition in the squad to finally reach the finals of a major tournament. "This group is as hungry as ever to make sure that happens," she added. "Thankfully, I lot of the older and more experienced players have stayed on for another campaign and we're fortunate to be able to keep these players.

"We want to do it for ourselves and them especially as they have been here from that start and given everything for the shirt, so to give something back to them it would be a dream. We're itching to get there, we've been close a few times, but this is the time to make sure it happens."

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FISHLOCK EXCITED BY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

07 April 20214:32pm

Jess Fishlock spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon to reflect on the beginning of this latest chapter in her international career as new manager Gemma Grainger starts work with her Cymru squad.

"Camp is actually really, really great," said Fishlock. "The whole squad is really excited, obviously a bit nervous as well as it's very new and a little bit of the unknown, but that went away after the first day. Gemma's fabulous and everyone is just looking forward to working together and trying to reach our goal. Gemma was found to be the absolute best person for us, and how she's carried herself with our group has been nothing short of phenomenal.

"She's already been already a breath of fresh air, and I have no doubt that she will get absolutely the best out of every person in this group, and that is super exciting. We're extremely thankful to Jarmo [Matikainen] and Jayne [Ludlow] and for everything they've done for us, and now it's Gemma's turn to come in. I believe that Gemma has everything around her to get where we want to get to, and it feels like everything is coming together."

Cymru face two difficult friendlies against Canada and Denmark to start this new era ahead of the draw for 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying which takes place at the end of the month. "We've got two unbelievable games against two top opponents," Fishlock added. "Gemma knows that if she's going to be the one to bridge that gap and take us to a major tournament, then these are the games that we need to start getting right. I would throw my entire career in the bin if it meant that I could go to a major tournament with my country. It's why I'm still her."

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RECOVERY CONTINUES AS WYNNE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

07 April 20214:27pm

Megan Wynne remains an absentee from the Cymru squad as she continues her recovery from a long-term injury after she suffered a tear to her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last August.

Scoring for Cymru in the 2-0 victory over Estonia just over a year ago (below), Wynne was preparing for the new season following her loan move to Bristol City from Tottenham Hotspur when she sustained the injury during a collision while training with her new club.

"It's been a long old journey so far," explained Wynne to the media at the Cymru women's training camp last month. "Hopefully I'm over the toughest part of it. I'm back on the training pitch four times a week and I'm doing four strength sessions a week as well. I'm not back with the team yet, but I'm working with the physio to get back as soon as possible.

"It hasn't been easy and it's a real challenge, but the support has helped me through it all. I moved into my flat and a week later I did my ACL. I thought it was a chance for a fresh start and to get that game time that I really needed. I'm at the age now where I want to play and be as successful as I can be so it was hard. Now I'm well on the way to coming back stronger physically and mentally.

"The game against Estonia was the last game I played before my injury so it's bitter-sweet memory now. We are close-knit group and a few of the girls have been through the same injury as me. I know they're only a phone call or a message away. I've done some media work on the side, and from the outside looking in it's made me realise what a tight group this is. Going into that last game in qualifying really made me appreciate being involved with this team, and now I just want to kick on with Wales and with my club."

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SQUAD UPDATE

07 April 20214:18pm

Gemma Grainger has named her first squad as Cymru manager ahead of the two international friendlies against Canada and Denmark.

There are five previously uncapped players named, including newcomers Ceri Holland and Bethan Roberts, who have been included in the senior squad for the first time. At the other end of the appearance scale, centurions Jess Fishlock and captain Sophie Ingle are both included.

Since the announcement, Hayley Ladd has withdrawn through injury and has been replaced by Chloe Williams. Here's a reminder of the squad as a new era begins ahead of 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying later this year.

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Croeso! Welcome to the live match hub where FAW.Cymru collates all the latest information and coverage from camp as Cymru prepare to play Canada (9 April) and Denmark (13 April) in international challenge matches. 

The games will see Gemma Grainger take charge of the team for the very first time since her appointment last month. 

Keep coming back to check this page for the very latest coverage.