LOREN Dykes says she was privileged to join the Wales Women’s football interim coaching team at their training camp at the Vale Resort, in preparation for the 2023 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

The recently retired centurion, from Pontardawe, was selected to help run the coaching with Wales Men’s U18s boss Matty Jones, under the leadership of FAW Technical Director David Adams.

Adams has taken temporary charge of the 26-player Wales Women’s squad as the recruitment process for a new national manager progresses, following the recent departure of Jane Ludlow.

“I’m privileged to be asked to work with these girls on the camp, they are such a talented group of players, with a good mix of youth and experience,” said Dykes, who has now retired from playing.

“It’s a great learning opportunity for me, and I hope I can make a positive impact in the short time we have together.”

Dykes, a former pupil at Cwmtawe Community School, announced her retirement from professional football last week, after 13 years of representing the national team, having been capped 105 times.

She started playing football for local side Pontardawe Town, before representing Llanelli Reds, UWIC (now Cardiff Met) and Cardiff City Ladies - and she also represented the Welsh Universities team.

In the 2008/2009 season she joined Bristol Academy, now Bristol City, whom she captained, and is a two-time finalist of the Women's FA Cup, having also played in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

She has also held coaching roles for the Wales U15s and the Bristol City senior team, as well as being an ambassador for Street Football Wales, and an ambassador for the 2019 Homeless World Cup.

A recipient of an MBE in 2019 for services to women’s football in Wales, she said on her retirement from playing that she had been making the transition from player to coach in recent months.

“I want to fully focus my energy on my development as a coach, with responsibilities at both club and youth national level as I work towards the completion of my UEFA A coaching licence,” she said.

“Playing for my country has been the greatest honour I could have ever wished for, and it has given me memories that I will cherish for life.

“I now look forward to helping to continue the growth of the game in Wales, and help inspire future players in a coaching capacity.”

The training camp has featured an almost full strength Wales Women’s squad, with captain Sophie Ingle, most-capped international Jess Fishlock and Hayley Ladd amongst the players involved.

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign is due to start in September (draw date 30 April), and friendly matches prior to the start of the campaign will be announced in due course.

Wales’ squad: Laura O’SULLIVAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Claire SKINNER (Swansea City), Olivia CLARK (Coventry United), Poppy SOPER (Plymouth Argyle), Rhiannon ROBERTS (Liverpool), Gemma EVANS (Bristol City), Maria FRANCIS-JONES (Cardiff City Ladies), Charlie ESTCOURT (London Bees), Hayley LADD (Manchester United), Josie GREEN (Tottenham Hotspur), Nadia LAWRENCE (Cardiff City Ladies), Elise HUGHES (Blackburn Rovers- On loan from Everton), Anna FILBEY (Celtic- On loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Sophie INGLE (Chelsea), Angharad JAMES (Reading), Jess FISHLOCK (Reading- On loan from OL Reign), Carrie JONES (Manchester United), Kylie NOLAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Chloe WILLIAMS (Manchester United), Kayleigh GREEN (Brighton & Hove Albion), Natasha HARDING (Reading), Rachel ROWE (Reading), Helen Ward (London Bees- Dual contract with Watford), Lily WOODHAM (Reading), Georgia WALTERS (Blackburn Rovers), Ffion MORGAN (Crystal Palace).