Jayne Ludlow a fantastic role model says Wales striker Nolan

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Wales forward Kylie Nolan has hailed manager Jayne Ludlow as a ‘fantastic’ role model ahead of today’s crunch clash with England.

Jayne Ludlow has been in charge of the Wales national team for four years, picking them up after their disappointing 4-0 defeat to England.

Since then, she has taken Wales to a third-place finish in the European Championship Qualifiers, as well as currently leading the qualifying group for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The former Arsenal defender has been described as a role model by Nolan, who leapt praise on the 39-year-old for her support with her injury.

“I think she’s done a fantastic job since she’s come in here. She’s motivated the girls, she’s been a fantastic role model to the girls.”

“Coming back from injury, I thought I’d be in the stands and on the sidelines. Being able to get on the pitch and Jayne to have that confidence in me to get on the pitch is great for my confidence.”

“She’s really good with us (Jayne Ludlow) She gives me good advice, where I can improve on.”

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 The Dragons have opted to play at Rodney Parade, after the Cardiff City Stadium and the Liberty Stadium were unavailable.

It is the second smallest home arena they’ve played in, after their 3-0 win over Russia, was played at Newport Stadium.

Nolan said: “I don’t think I can describe that. The crowd is gonna make it.”

It is mad, you kind of zone out, when you first go on the pitch, seeing your family in the crowd, buzzed up for it. You get into the game though, once it starts.”

Two weeks ago, Wales forward Kylie Nolan lined up alongside fellow countrywomen Ffion Morgan, Laura O’Sullivan and Nadia Lawrence. They played against all-time Wales top scorer, Helen Ward, of Watford.

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Nolan netted twice in a 5-2 defeat to Watford on the opening day of the Women’s National League season in England. Helen Ward netted a hat trick in the same game.

The 20-year-old said: “It was really good. We got off to a rocky start, but Helen put her chances away very well.”

It’s good, being one of the younger generation.  It’s good because of some of the older players, we look up to them.

They teach us how to be good role models, as eventually, we’ll be like them.”

When asked what it would be like to be seen as one of the key role models, should Wales qualify for the showpiece in France?

Nolan said it would be a dream experience to play in a World Cup and she couldn’t have imagined it.

“Surreal. I can’t imagine myself in the World Cup. It would be a surreal experience I would have dreamt of when I was younger.

Some of the opportunities that the girls have got now are fantastic to grow into the setup. When I was there, the older ones had nothing compared to what we got and it’s growing.”

(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)

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