Wales manager Jayne Ludlow leaves after more than six years at the helm

Credit: PA Images

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow has left her post after more than six years at the helm.

Ludlow has led the women's national team since October 2014 and became the first manager to lead the side for more than 50 games.

During that period Wales reached the top 30 in the FIFA Women’s rankings for the first time and her side narrowly missed out on a place in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Ludlow played 61 times and scored 19 goals for her country before taking over from previous manager Jarmo Matikainen.

Born in Llwynypia, Rhondda Cynon Taf, she played for Barry Town Ladies, Millwall Lionesses, Southampton Saints and Arsenal.

At club level she won the FA Women’s Premier League National Division on nine occasions and the FA Women’s Cup on eight.

Between 2006 and 2007, Ludlow was a member of the Arsenal team that won the UEFA Women’s Cup.

Jayne Ludlow lifts the FA Cup in 2008 after Arsenal's third successive triumph in the competition. Credit: PA Images

FAW Chief Executive Jonathan Ford said: "Jayne has played a huge part in the progress of the Women’s game in Wales over the past six years, managing the side through three qualification campaigns.

"The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign enhanced the profile of the gamethroughout the country, inspiring young girls across Wales to play football for the first time.

"Off the field Jayne has been a role model for the women’s game in Wales, regularly visiting schools across the country and attending the National Eisteddfod to inspire future generations.

"We thank Jayne for all her hard work, dedication and vast contribution to Welsh football both on and off the field. We wish her well in the future."

Ludlow during the warm up before the UEFA Women's Euro 2021 Qualifying Group C match at Rodney Parade. Credit: PA Images

Ludlow described her time as manager as "an eventful and exciting journey".

"It has been an honour and an absolute pleasure to have worked with the staff and players across our age group and senior teams," she continued.

"There have been several highlights, including our first ever draw against England at Southampton and the magnificent victory over Russia in Newport in June 2018.

"It has been a fantastic learning environment for me personally and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last six years as a group of staff and players, whom I want to thank."

She said she is looking forward to the next challenges, including an opportunity to be part of the technical leadership team at FIFA.

She added that she believes the Wales squad will soon qualify for a first major final.

The FAW said it will now begin a thorough recruitment process for a new manager as Wales looks to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in September.