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The game against Bulgaria could hardly have gone any better for us and an
8-1 victory was the best way possible to start for our new manager Jarmo Matikainen.
We said before the game that we wanted to get a start for Jarmo, he's a fantastic guy and we all know we're going to go forward even more in the next campaign. To win it the way we played, with attacking football, was great - we had seven different scorers and it just goes to show how dangerous we are when we attack.
The players that we've got are more mature now and there is more experience in the team, there is a belief now that we can go and score goals. When you have that belief and confidence in each other to go and play, that makes all the difference.
It was good for me to start the scoring on the night after Gwennan Harries had initially hit the bar. Gwen's strike was fantastic - I was screaming for the ball before she took the shot but I know Gwen very well and she was always going to take that strike. I've been told by Jarmo to keep following up, after all playing on the wing is a new role for me, so I'm listening to what I've been told and putting it into practice. I had to cut inside onto my trusty left foot but I was happy with the finish!
With the way we are going to play now, we're going to utilise the wide areas a lot more and get players into the box and then it has to depend on the delivery. Everyone is on the ball a lot more about their runs and people out wide are aiming for players in the middle rather than just putting it in the box and it is paying off, because were scoring great goals.
Jarmo also knows that, at the top level, you cant have six players defending and four attacking - you have to have the players gelling in. I need support from my full back and Loren likewise on the other flank and Erin Vaughan was fantastic behind me and Jasmin Dutton just the same for Loren. It's great to have the support of those players behind you.
I think that the keeper knew it was Jayne Ludlow's 50th cap and helped it in to give her a goal! Seriously, Jayne is a fantastic player and has so much passion for Wales - it's great to have her back in the side and you can see the difference she makes. Her presence is unbelievable and we have missed her, I am glad to have her back.
It is a little frustrating that we have to wait for our next game but it's good that we had this friendly. We're meeting up regularly and having camps and it's great, this new regime is good for us. We are having a lot of information fed to us, our game plans and strategies have changed. We're all learning under Jarmo and I'm really excited for the future. You can see the experience Jarmo has gained from the Finnish men's and ladies sides because it oozes out of him and it breeds confidence into you, so you can go out and play like we did.
It's been an eventful year but I think everything that goes along with Wales is eventful. As players and a side, we know where we're going and where we are heading. I for one firmly believe that if we get good luck in the draws for the big championships, there is no reason why we can't aim to qualify. We haven't had great luck on the past two occasions but in the World Cup we beat the second and third seeds and there is honestly no team we are scared of.
There are little things we need to sort out and tidy up, a bit of fine tuning but every team needs to do that. Everyone who has followed Wales for the past two years will see that we are climbing and always going forward and this squad with the youngsters coming through as well has a very bright future.
I haven't been playing at 100% for a year now but I have an operation in two weeks and that should put things right. With that, and the Algarve Cup coming up, I'm so excited to be playing for Wales - it's a fantastic feeling, it really is.
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