Evans on the edge of major Cymru milestone

Impetus’ Martin Townley was in Cymru’s media conference with Gemma Evans and Rachel Rowe ahead of their second Pinatar Cup match against Iceland (18/2/23).

Above: Cymru’s Gemma Evans, who could win her 50th cap tonight against Iceland in the Pinatar Cup. Photo: Clwb Pel-Droed.

Cymru and Reading defender Gemma Evans emphasised just how much she likes being the underdog as Cymru prepare to face Iceland in their second match at the Pinatar Cup. 

Cymru beat the Philippines in their first match 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Kayleigh Green.  Iceland also opened their campaign with a win as they beat Scotland 2-0. 

Evans and Reading teammate Rachel Rowe spoke to the media ahead of their showdown with Iceland, who will provide a tough challenge. Evans expects an extremely tough challenge, but is looking forward to the match,

“A physical game, a very physical intense game. I like being the underdog. I think it’s challenging. Who doesn’t love a challenge? “From training we’re all very well prepped, and it’s going to be an exciting one so I’m looking forward to it”. 

It could be a special night for Evans as if she plays she will have reached the 50 cap milestone.

It doesn’t feel real. I’d be honest. I mean, it’s such a proud moment for me if I do make that, for my family and everyone who supported me, and I wouldn’t want to do it with a better bunch of girls if I’m honest they are an inspiration to a nation”.

Above: Rachel Rowe, who plays with Evans for both club and country was full of pride at the Welsh star’s achievement. Photo: Express and Star.

Rachel Rowe underlined the joy she feels for her teammate reaching the 50 cap mark saying: She’s one of my favourite people. I can’t express enough; I love to girl to bits. And you know, she really deserves it. Everyone around her is so proud of her for getting to that milestone”.

Cymru missed out on this years World Cup but have seen improvements both on and off the field with crowds improving game after game.  Evans gave her thoughts on what the squad need to do to keep moving forward,

 “I just think we need to keep building on the building blocks we’ve already got, but we’ve got to keep pushing that every single day on and off camp.

“I think the individual errors then will decrease, which will give us the best opportunity to qualify for a major tournament. But I just think we got to stick together keep believing in ourselves and keep praying”

Rowe added that despite no qualification games this year, there is still lots to play for,

“Obviously people can see it as a bit of a void year, and we will get qualifications next year. But it’s a massive incentive for players to want to push on want to develop at club level and develop and get minutes and caps for Wales.

“But that’s down to individuals, isn’t it? And we have an abundance of talent within our squad. It’s whether people want to take the baton and run around with it. So that’s exciting for us. It’s exciting for the whole squad, because there will be changes.”

Above: Gemma Evans recognises that Cymru face a tough task against Iceland tonight. Photo: Clwb Pel-Droed.

Rowe also spoke about the building of the game off the pitch.

Yes, it’s been so amazing to see the growth after COVID. Getting fans back in and seeing how much last campaign, their support increased.

“And for us, that’s obviously such a big thing, playing in a stadium full of fans who are supporting you and kind of being that extra voice to push you forward. “I think that was one of our massive, probably advantages. Last year in the qualification campaign.

“Having that growth every game and feeling like we were actually doing something outside of just on the pitch, inspiring people and, you know, giving them something to want to go to in the evenings and watch a game.

“But yeah, the growth has been massive, you know, worldwide in women’s football, and it’s really nice to see it grown in Wales as well.”

Cymru will face Iceland at Pinatar Arena on Saturday 18th February with a 19:30 kick-off.

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