by Adam Evans & Editor
IT has been quite a year for teenager Elise Hughes.
Tonight she returns to the international squad for Wales against the Czech Republic – her first match since she was named FAW Young Player of the Year, alongside Bournemouth’s David Brooks.
The Evertonian who comes from Hawarden, was given the prize having impressed in Wales’ World Cup qualifying campaign. Her side narrowly missed out after a heart-breaking 3-0 defeat to England in August. It was the squad’s last match to be played on home turf.
Despite picking up the honour at such an early stage in her international career, Wales manager Jayne Ludlow is confident that she hasn’t changed at all.
“I don’t think I have seen a change if I’m honest. The kid (Elise Hughes) is very grounded, she’s very ambitious but when you break it all down, she is a young kid who loves playing football,” Ludlow said.
“She’s learnt at a fairly young age to understand the pressures that come along with national team football.
“She’s developed a way of enjoying those pressures and being able to cope with those stresses, hence why she’s getting opportunities to play within the senior environment.
“I haven’t seen a difference and we are just looking forward to helping her develop.”
Confidently say it’s been a good year both club and country. Great night at the FAW awards, and what a feeling winning Young Player of the Year 😆🏴 pic.twitter.com/LptEVMSJMa
— Elise Hughes (@elise__hughes) March 22, 2019
Wales will be looking to kick start preparations for their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign tonight.
Jayne Ludlow’s side play the friendly in front of a record breaking crowd at Rodney Parade. Over two thousand tickets have been sold. Ludlow will be hoping the big crowd works in her team’s favour, as a positive result would end their run of six games without one.