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Gemma Grainger urges Cymru to make history with World Cup qualification

10 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Wales head coach Gemma Grainger with goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan after clinching a World Cup playoff spot. Photo Simon Galloway PA Images

Gemma Grainger has urged Cymru to make history by joining the nation’s men on the world stage.

The women’s side could secure a place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand when they face Switzerland in a qualification play-off final in Zurich on Tuesday evening, matching the achievement of Rob Page’s men, who ended a 64-year absence from the men’s finals in June when they booked a trip to Qatar this winter.

Cymru who were watched by a record crowd of 15,200 as they beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in Cardiff on Thursday evening to set up their clash with the Swiss, have never before qualified for a major tournament and have been hugely inspired by the efforts of Gareth Bale and his team-mates.

Boss Grainger said: “It’s been a huge inspiration for us, Rob and the team, and seeing them working and how they have created history themselves to put Wales on the world stage. It’s something that we want to be right alongside them with.

“I’m looking forward to heading to the World Cup in Qatar later in the year and I’m hopeful that we can continue to work in that way, that we both inspire each other.

“I have a very close relationship with Rob, it’s a brilliant working relationship and it very much sums up our association in terms of we are together and we’ll make sure we keep pushing to grow the game together.”


Grainger is acutely aware of the opportunity within her side’s grasp, despite the fact that even victory at the Stadion Letzigrund over the highest ranked of the remaining World Cup hopefuls may not hand them their golden ticket.

Only two of the three play-off final winners – Scotland host the Republic of Ireland and Iceland travel to Portugal – will progress automatically on the basis of their qualification records, with the third facing an inter-confederation shoot-out in New Zealand in February.

A philosophical Grainger, who has no fresh fitness concerns, said: “We want to make sure we can be in a position where you want to talk to me about the ‘What next?’ after the game on Tuesday evening, and that’s when we will look at it as a group if that is the situation.

“If we’re successful tomorrow evening, it would be an incredibly proud moment and, if we’re not, it would be an incredibly proud moment because we’re right on track for where this team wants to be, and that’s competing with the best teams in the world.”

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