Above: Wales goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan talking to the media today. Photo: FAW.
Impetus editor Ben Gilby heard from Cardiff City and Wales goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan at today’s media event ahead of Wales’ Pinatar Cup opener with Scotland (15/2/22).
Laura O’Sullivan is likely to win her fiftieth cap for her country during this week’s Pinatar Cup competition, and she highlighted what a special moment it will be.
“It will mean a lot, particularly as I didn’t get started until quite late (O’Sullivan’s first cap came in her mid-twenties).”
As a part-time player with Cardiff City, it has been a particularly impressive achievement. “The whole Welsh squad are like a family really, and it’s been fantastic that they are so supportive, particularly as I have work and I kind of train on the side. It’s a huge opportunity, but when you have them you have to grab them.
“Being on the brink of a 50th cap is amazing. Working and then having to train, that’s four times a week, plus a game – it’s hard, so these things (getting a 50th cap) make it worthwhile. During the week, I often don’t get home until 10:30pm or 11pm at night. Living in Cardiff, it’s helpful as the FAW facilities are down the road and I have support there.
“I have to keep on my toes, there’s two younger goalkeepers who are pushing me all the way now. My major goal now, like many others in the squad is to play in a major championship for Wales.”
Whilst O’Sullivan is still very much part of the scene at Cardiff City, she has huge pride in the number of players in the current national squad that came through the ranks at the capital city club.
“It speaks for itself the players that Cardiff have produced for the Welsh team. There are so many. It’s been a huge part of Wales having this club. Just being a part of it is wonderful. They are progressing and producing these players for the national team.”
The goalkeeper reflected on some of her proudest moments in a Welsh shirt. “There are so many. I think my first cap. I was thrown in at the deep end. It was an away camp and getting the call up was a shock!
“Playing Norway was a good game with very technical players. Canada was memorable with them now being Olympic champions too.”
Looking ahead to Wales’ opening Pinatar Cup game with Scotland, O’Sullivan said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge. We know what Scotland are all about and what they are going to bring. We have a game plan in place.
“They have top-level tournament experience and are higher ranked than us. Scotland are a good attacking team with good players.”
O’Sullivan highlighted the importance of competing in the Pinatar Cup rather than a couple of friendlies during this particular international window.
“We are here to prepare for the qualifiers ahead. This being a tournament is helpful meaning we can stay together for nine days and iron things out ahead of the next batch of World Cup qualifiers.”
Those qualifiers include a re-match with France, who Wales put in a spirited performance against at the end of last year.
“We took so many positives from the last game with France. There is so much more we can give. Rather than say ‘we did OK against a top-level team’, we were more disappointed. We can do better.”