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Fishlock Dropped As Wales Player and Captain

The Reign's tenacious star midfielder has been left out of her national team setup for the first time in a long time.

Mike Russell

Throughout her tenure with the Seattle Reign at both ends of the league standings, and through the litany of offseason loans that took her from Scotland to Australia to Germany, the one constant in Jess Fishlock's footballing life was that she was the captain of the Welsh National Team. Now that era is apparently over.

Today head coach Jayne Ludlow named her squad for the Istria Cup tournament and not only was Fishlock not captain, she's not even on the squad. And according to the release, new captain Sophie Ingle will take the armband "on a permanent basis". That is somewhat at odds with Ludlow's justification for leaving Fishlock out entirely: "I've got an opportunity to play players that I've not seen much of, that's my thought process for this tournament. I know what Jess can give." Giving shots to younger players in a friendly tournament isn't surprising. Wales came close but did not qualify for this summer's Women's World Cup, so they're now beginning a new cycle. But a permanent move in the captaincy suggests something else might be at work.

Fishlock responded on Twitter with class:

She's currently on loan with FFC Frankfurt, having just returned from an ankle injury that kept her out for nearly a month. Reign preseason begins in early March.

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