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After what has seemed to be a long time, Wales will be meeting up this week ahead of our first match of the new year, a friendly against Northern Ireland on Wednesday in Belfast.
Any game will be of benefit to us right now and it will be good to get together with the rest of the players again and see where we are at ahead of our big two matches next month. I don't think I have actually played against Northern Ireland before but I know that they have made good progress in the last set of world rankings and are likely to play in a 'British' style.
Hopefully we can get ourselves back on track after our previous two games against the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan, which were not good. Before that, we had one of the best results that a Wales women's team has had for a while when we beat the Czechs 2-0, but we mustn't dwell on what happened the last time and go forward from here.
We have two very important World Cup qualifying group matches next month, away to Belgium and then at home to Sweden, and we need points from those two games. That is something I feel we are capable of doing and it is how we prepare ourselves, we need to focus on what we are good at. We beat Slovenia 3-0 in a friendly at the start of the season and that stood us in good stead for our first two World Cup qualifiers, so a similar result and performance this week can be just as beneficial.
It will be good to have Loren Dykes back in the squad after she missed the last two matches with injury, it is a big boost for us and I hope we can use her to her full potential. We have a good strike force to choose from and Loren is a part of that, not many teams can cope with them when they are on form.
At least it gives everyone a chance to play as not many of us have played two often in recent months! I believe that several members of the squad have only played one match since the turn of the year because of all the bad weather. It will be good to get a game in, to get together and express ourselves - who knows, it might turn out to be perfect timing as the players will be fresh.
The Northern Ireland game is set to be a very special one for one of the key members of the squad as Emma Jones will reach the 50-cap mark if she plays. This is a brilliant achievement for her, she really deserves it and everyone in the Welsh squad will be delighted for her.
'Vinnie' has probably gone through transition after transition in the squads since she made her debut but she has been at the heart of the Welsh defence for a long time. She has now taken on the captaincy and is doing a good job, we are glad to have her. Hopefully she can lead us on to good things, anyone who has played alongside her or with her for club and country will agree with me, that she is a fantastic player.
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