Jayne Ludlow: Former boss ‘would love’ Wales return in future – BBC News

Jayne Ludlow
Jayne Ludlow is the only person to manage the Wales women’s side for more than 50 matches

Jayne Ludlow says she would “absolutely love” to return to the Wales set-up, but says the Football Association of Wales (FAW) is behind schedule in implementing important changes.

Ludlow left her role overseeing all of Wales’ women’s sides in January.

She says the women’s game has until recently been largely ignored by both the FAW and the FAW Trust.

“Structurally there’s a lot of changes and I hope they are for the benefit of the game long term,” she said.

Ludlow, who was responsible for overseeing all of Wales women’s age-grade sides as well as the senior team, left by “mutual consent,” after seven years in charge having twice taken Wales close to a first major finals qualification.

However, she says the departure of her and her staff, while disappointing, is part of some long overdue structural changes finally coming into place with the FAW saying that Ludlow’s successor will be responsible only for the senior team.

“I’m happy to speak about what I know about and that’s the women’s environment,” she told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“We were very much a satellite group of staff brought in six, seven years ago to look after the women’s environment and people can think what they like about that.

“The fact we weren’t within the association or the trust in any shape or form to develop and learn and be part of that environment says a lot about the thought process towards the women’s game.

“But one of the reasons that obviously change has happened recently is because that thought process has changed… and there are some drastic changes happening in our women’s environment, youth and senior right now.”

Ludlow added that she still feels for some of her staff who left when she did.

“I’m disappointed. You take me out of this, I had some fantastic staff working with me – ex-senior women’s national team players who are so passionate and (who had) done fantastic work with the youngsters,” she added.

“They’ve been pushed out and those things for me are really, really disappointing.”

Ludlow says it is imperative more changes are made, with the FAW saying Ludlow’s successor will only be responsible for the senior team.

“Everybody knows I’m passionate about the women’s game and I love the game in general, but I’m hugely passionate about our young female players and give them the best opportunity to get to the best level they possibly can in the future and that’s the top level of the game, hopefully.

“I do really, really hope deep down that these people are making the right decisions for those players.

“From a holistic point of view the women’s game needed to develop drastically and now they have an opportunity to do it by changing contracts etc, the people involved.

“Look, for me the priority is players and giving those kids an opportunity to be the best they can be.”

Ford’s situation clouds manager appointment

Wales had announced they would hold interviews for Ludlow’s successor in the past week, but the situation has been clouded by the fact there are doubts over the future of FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford.

Ford, who was the subject of a vote of no confidence passed by the FAW council on Monday, 22 February, had been set to lead the interviews.

BBC Sport Wales has been told he has been placed on gardening leave with meetings taking place which could lead to his departure.

The FAW is also dealing with men’s national team manager Ryan Giggs having had his bail extended until May after he denied an allegation of assault.

Wales’ men’s side begin their World Cup qualifying campaign in March ahead of the delayed Euros, while Wales’ women are preparing for World Cup qualification.

Ludlow expressed regret at the non-football issues the FAW are are dealing with and added that much as she would one day love to return to the set-up, she doesn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

“As an ex-employee I’m disappointed that these things are going on,” she added.

“You’ve highlighted some key areas for us to be really focusing on right now and we’re unfortunately not doing that.

“I am Welsh through and through. If there are any opportunities for me to be involved in coaching the kids in any capacity in the future I would absolutely love it, but that is not on the cards at the moment, unfortunately, for me.”

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