Jess Fishlock: Injured midfielder focused on Wales but sees benefits of Team GB

Jess Fishlock won the Women's Champions League in May 2019 while on loan with French club Lyon
Jess Fishlock won the Women's Champions League in May 2019 while on loan with French club Lyon

Injured Jess Fishlock says she is focused on returning to fitness to help Wales' Euro 2021 qualifying campaign, but backs the concept of Team GB's Olympics football team at Tokyo 2020.

The midfielder will make qualifying for Euro 2021 her priority as she recovers from a serious knee injury.

"That's (Team GB) not on my mind at all," said Fishlock.

"What's on my mind is to make sure I'm back and ready to go for the second half of our campaign for Wales."

The 32-year-old will miss the first four games of Wales' Uefa Women's European Championship qualifiers.

Wales begin their campaign away to the Faroe Islands on 29 August, before playing Northern Ireland home and away either side of a fixture in Belarus.

Wales' most capped player will not return until at least January 2020 after tearing an ACL playing for Reign FC against Utah Royals in the National Women's Soccer League.

Fishlock added: "My priority is Reign FC and Wales; Team GB is a side issue to those for me. Qualification for the Euros would do a huge amount for women's football in Wales."

Great Britain v Canada, London 2012
Great Britain were knocked out by Canada at the quarter-final stage at London 2012

Team GB 'benefits home nations'

Fishlock, however, says it is important GB's women are represented in Tokyo.

"Women's football back home (in the UK) is growing and every single home nation will benefit from there being a Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics."

"I'd never want to jeopardise the independence of the four home nations, but I'm aware Team GB is also important for women's football in the UK and Wales and we have players who are good enough to play at that level."

Fishlock also believes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have players good enough to make a GB team that is expected to be drawn overwhelmingly from the England team that reached the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.

England manager Phil Neville will also be Team GB manager at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

The squad that represented Britain at London 2012 had just two non-English players, Scotland pair Ifeoma Dieke and Kim Little.

"I think the question is are there Welsh players that are good enough to get in it and my answer for that is yes," said Fishlock.

"I think there's many of us that are more than capable of playing in such a tournament.

"But at the end of the day, what I will say is that England have qualified for it - let's be honest with that.

"They've done well enough in the World Cup to qualify for the Olympics, so they have every right to go in thinking they're also just good enough to take their squad and they've earned that and they understand that.

"But are there players in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland that are good enough also to represent Team GB?

"My opinion on that is yes, there are."

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