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Football: Nia Jones proud after Welsh call-up

A FORMER Ysgol Maes Garmon pupil was hoping to win international honours for Wales last night.

Nia Jones, a former pupil of the Mold school, was brought in as injuries struck the Welsh women’s squad ahead of their game against Bulgaria at Cefn Druids.

The match was played after the Chronicle went to press but the 18-year-old, currently playing for Cardiff-side UWIC in the Welsh Women’s Premier League, was hoping to make her international debut.

“I’ve been on a few training camps before so I know the rest of the girls,” she said.

“We’ve got the start of qualifying for the European Championships next September, and Wales has also recently been given the U19 finals in 2013, so we’re looking to raise the profile of the women’s game in Wales and I want to be part of that.”

Jones says the popularity of the women’s game is on the increase, but insists the sport still needs to boost its profile in the media.

“It’s one of the fastest-growing women’s sports in Wales,” she said.

“But as we know it all comes down to funding and media coverage. It helps that the Welsh Premier League for women has been set up, that’s a huge positive.

“We’re still finding our feet with the league, but hopefully in a few years’ time we’ll have some good football going on.

“We’re losing some of our players to big English clubs so it’s important to try and keep as many players as we can.

“We’ve got some really good players at UWIC and we play on a Wednesday for the university as well,” she added. “We’ve only lost a couple of games so far in the Welsh Premier League – our closest rivals are Swansea who are obviously a big club. We’re going for the title his year, definitely.”