Natasha Harding: Wales forward wants Tokyo 2021 GB team scrapped

Natasha Harding: Wales forward backs switching Women's Euros to 2022

Wales and Reading forward Natasha Harding says a women's Great Britain Olympic team should be put on hold to help ease fixture congestion.

Both the Tokyo Olympics and European Championship in England have been postponed for 12 months.

That could mean major tournaments every year between 2021 and 2025.

"When you break it down it's a lot to ask, especially in the female game where you see a lot more ACL injuries," Harding told BBC Sport Wales.

"Even though the Olympics are a great thing and it would be phenomenal to have a Welsh player at them, for the next one it would be wise to postpone a GB women's team for the foreseeable future.

"I'm not saying forever, just until football goes back to normality, which could take the two years we're talking."

The Tokyo Olympic Games will start on 23 July, 2021 and run to 8 August after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two Wales players, Chelsea's Sophie Ingle and Jess Fishlock of Reign FC, are expected to be included in the GB women's squad.

Harding, 31, who has 79 Wales caps, believes it is vital that female players are able to have a suitable period of rest if they are to remain fit and injury-free.

"If our league (the Women's Super League) is to try and finish that's a big ask as you have to have at least four to six weeks off and a pre-season, and your new season starts potentially," she added.

"So there has to be some sacrifice within the league or existing structures, but I definitely think that the Olympics is one that could be put on the back-burner."