The UEFA Women’s Champions League ambassador and Wales women’s national football team manager Jayne Ludlow shares her thoughts ahead of the final 2017 in Cardiff.
Ahead of the women’s final in Cardiff City Stadium on 1 June, the competition’s ambassador Jayne Ludlow tells UEFA about her debuts playing football, what is her goal in her current position as a national coach for the women’s team, and what are her hopes for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final.
UEFA: Why did you start playing football?
Jayne Ludlow: Look, football was my first love. I grew up in a family of football-mad people. My dad was a player: as a young player, he was down on Swansea City’s books, so he was a decent player – he’d love me saying that, too! So, as a young female growing up, my Saturday afternoons were spent in Blaenrhondda Park, in the Valleys of South Wales, and I enjoyed them immensely. I wanted to be on the pitch with the lads. That was my upbringing and I loved every minute of it.
UEFA: What’s your favourite memory of winning the 2007 UEFA Women’s Cup final with Arsenal?
Ludlow: Lifting the trophy, I guess. I could relive every single second of that day: it’s embedded in my memory. Whether it’s the ice bath in the morning or the food that we ate. But I’d say lifting the trophy because there’s the relief that comes over you, the sense that ‘we did it!’
UEFA: As Wales women’s manager now, how do inspire young girls?
Ludlow: The thing that we’re trying to do as a group of staff, together with everybody involved in the association to do with the women’s and girls’ games, is to make sure that we create an environment that’s enjoyable for the young girls. They start kicking a ball around because they like it, so we make sure that the environments we’re setting up and creating are those environments.
UEFA: Are you excited for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final?
Ludlow: What I do hope is that we get lots of local people down to the event in Cardiff on 1 June to witness what’s going to be a fantastic, competitive event. So, it’s more important to my youngsters than Christmas this year.