Wales boss Grainger names squad for pivotal World Cup qualifiers with Fishlock recalled | The Sun

JESS FISHLOCK returns to international duty for Wales with the team aiming to reach the World Cup play-offs for the first time in their history.

Chelsea’s Sophie Ingle, 30, and Tottenham’s Angharad James, 28, have also been named in the 26-strong squad.

And Fishlock is back after being rested for a friendly fixture in June.

Wales take on Greece away on September 2 before a home clash with Slovenia four days later.

Fans have snapped up more than 8,500 tickets for the team’s September 6 duel with Slovenia at Cardiff City Stadium

This figure exceeds the current highest attendance for a Wales Women’s home game which stands at 5,455.

Four points from the two fixtures for Gemma Grainger’s side would see them book a place in next year’s World Cup play-offs.

And football chiefs hope to see more than 10,000 fans flock to Cardiff City Stadium for the players’ clash with Slovenia which kicks off at 7:45 pm.

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Team manager Grainger, 40, told Wales Online: "If families are coming to the game, I’m hoping the feeling and experience they get is going to be a great one.

"We will aim to put on a show on the pitch and make sure we play the way we’ve played throughout this campaign because that’s something we’re really passionate about.

"We want to make sure that these fans get to see us doing what we work so hard to do and what the girls are capable of.

"The belief that we have in this team from an in-possession and out-possession point of view is that we can play some very, very good football.

"But most importantly we want them to have a good time.

"We want to interact with them, which we will do at the end of the Slovenia game. That’s a big part of who we are."

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OL Reign midfield star Fishlock, who is Wales' most capped player, was rested for the team’s 0-0 friendly draw with New Zealand in June.

Charlie Estcourt also returns to the squad after being rested for their game against the Ferns.

But Tottenham's Esther Morgan and Leicester's Hannah Cain are absent due to long-term injuries.

Grainger’s squad is predominantly made up of players from the WSL and Women’s Championship.

Fishlock,Laura O’Sullivan and Helen Ward are currently the only aces plying their trade in other divisions with Fishlock playing the USA’s top tier and Ward and O’Sullivan competing in the FA Women’s National League.

Grainger added: "The WSL and the Championship are arguably two of the best domestic leagues in the world.

"To have that on our doorstep is a competitive advantage, and I think the league will get better because the investment will get better off the back of the Euros."

Wales Squad for Women’s World Cup qualifiers in September

Laura O’Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia Clark (Bristol City), Safia Middleton-Patel (Manchester United), Rhiannon Roberts (Liverpool), Josie Green (Leicester City), Hayley Ladd (Manchester United), Gemma Evans (Reading), Rachel Rowe (Reading), Lily Woodham (Reading), Sophie Ingle (Chelsea), Anna Filbey (Crystal Palace), Angharad James (Tottenham Hotspur), Georgia Walters (Sheffield United), Charlie Estcourt (Unattached), Jess Fishlock (OL Reign), Carrie Jones (Leicester City – on loan from Manchester United), Ffion Morgan (Bristol City), Megan Wynne (Southampton), Elise Hughes (Crystal Palace), Kayleigh Green (Brighton & Hove Albion), Helen Ward (Watford), Natasha Hard (Aston Villa), Ceri Holland (Liverpool), Maria Francis-Jones (Sheffield United – dual agreement with Manchester City), Chloe Williams (Blackburn Rovers – dual agreement with Manchester United), Morgan Rogers (Watford).

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