Hayley Ladd: Getting to the World Cup would be massive and would make history for us Welsh players
While the England women’s team have grabbed the headlines in recent years for their performances at both the 2015 World Cup and the Euros earlier this summer, a promising campaign is quietly forming in Wales.
Jayne Ludlow’s side are currently unbeaten in qualification for the 2019 World Cup, amassing three wins and a draw without conceding a goal.
Two single-goal triumphs against Kazakhstan and a further 1-0 win in Bosnia, coupled with a 0-0 stalemate in Russia, leaves Ludlow’s charges top of their group on ten points.
England have three wins from three matches in second, but it is the Welsh who are the early pace-setters.
Birmingham City’s 24-year-old defensive midfielder Hayley Ladd insists their solid and organised approach to games is reaping dividends.
“It’s a brilliant foundation to have as we’ve not conceded any goals,” said Ladd. “We do set up quite conservatively and not conceding is obviously a big bonus for us.
“We’ve been able to get the key goals at the other end as well, which means we’ve got some points on the board.
“We’re taking it as it comes but so far we’ve done very well.
“Getting to the World Cup would be massive and would make history for us Welsh players – but first we’ve got to get to the play-off so we’re going to take it one game at a time.
“Definitely that’s a dream of ours and we really hope we can get there.”
Ladd was speaking at the SSE Women’s FA Cup Third Round draw at Park Hall School in Birmingham on Monday, with fellow Blues star Ellen White on hand to help with the draw.
They faced a question and answer session from pupils and oversaw a coaching session with some of the school’s promising young footballers.
The Blues have pedigree in the cup having made the final in last season’s competition. However, they came up against an all-conquering Manchester City and fell to a 4-1 defeat.
But Ladd, a summer arrival from Bristol City, wants her side to go deep into the competition once more, with Birmingham set to enter after the next round.
“It’s a really special competition, the last couple of years I’ve played for teams in FA WSL 2 and Coventry in the FA Women’s Premier League so you relish the opportunity to play in the FA Cup,” she said.
“We’ll earmark to get as far as we can in the competition, it’s something we can compete in and obviously the girls did incredibly well last year, we’ll really give it a go.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday 5th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For more information about tickets and what SSE do for women’s football, visit www.sponsorship.sse.com.