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Joel: Wales call-up my biggest footballing achievement so far
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Danny Ryan
Lois Joel is one of five uncapped players in Wales' latest squad
Lois Joel is one of five uncapped players in Wales' latest squad

Lois Joel is absolutely buzzing after being named in Wales' senior squad for the first time.

The London City Lionesses skipper, 24, is part of an exciting crop of players chosen by interim boss Jon Grey ahead of a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on February 27.

And full-back turned midfielder Joel says her international call-up is the biggest moment of her young career.

She told LiveScore: "When the assistant called me before the official announcement, it was such a great feeling.

"This is my greatest achievement in the sport so far. International football is such an honour to be a part of.

"Hopefully the next achievements will be playing for Wales and helping them get to a first major tournament."

Easy decision

Joel represented England at youth level but opted to switch allegiance to Wales — a decision she claims was easy after working with former manager Gemma Grainger.

She explained: "It was always in the back of my mind. I had quite a close relationship with Gemma.

"So I talked to her and some of the other girls, as well as going to a training camp, and that really sold it for me.

"The environment was just such a good place to be and made it quite an easy decision in the end.

"I'm very excited to work with Jon. We had a good one-to-one session at a training camp.

"And from what I've already seen, strong foundations were laid by Gemma. Hopefully we can continue and finish what she started."

Euro 2025

Wales just missed out on a spot at the 2023 World Cup as they lost their play-off final tie against Switzerland in agonising fashion.

FC Zurich forward Fabienne Humm scored in the second half of extra-time to seal a 2-1 victory in October 2022.

But while the Welsh failed to qualify, their improvement as a side has been clear for all to see — and a spot at Euro 2025 is now a realistic aim.

Joel said: "Qualifying for the Euros is the main goal. I think we definitely have the talent but it's about getting the job done.

"Obviously they lost in such a heart-breaking manner last time, so I'm sure a lot of the girls are desperate to right those wrongs.

"But having the experience of playing in such big play-off games will help the team moving forward."

Captain Joel

Lois Joel and London City Lionesses played Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Conti Cup
Lois Joel and London City Lionesses played Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Conti Cup

While new to the international scene, Joel knows her role as captain of Championship side London City — a position she was appointed to last August — will make it an easier introduction to the Wales camp.

She said: "It's been challenging being captain at times. We've got a team full of really big personalities.

"Sometimes they captain me but I've learned so much off them and grown as both a leader and a player.

"Hopefully that will help me coming into this new environment, because I have more confidence than I did before."

If Joel debuts in Ireland next Tuesday, she will also come up against some of her London City colleagues.

She added: "There's already been a bit of banter. They've said how it's always a close and exciting game.

"And there's no such thing as a friendly in international football, is there? I'm really looking forward to it."


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