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Women's Football News
Gwennan Harries has announced her retirement from football, and thanked those who have given her "support and guidance" throughout her career.
Gwennan made her senior international debut for Wales against Moldova in 2006 and went on to earn 56 caps, scoring 18 goals before suffering a knee injury in November 2012.
Gwennan's statement read:
"Regrettably, I announce my retirement from the game of football today.
Following numerous recent consultations regarding my long standing knee injury that has kept me out of the game since November 2012, it is on medical grounds that I make this decision to retire.
After injuring my knee over 3 years ago, the chances of returning to action with an injury which could not be repaired were always very slim, and although I was advised against it, I felt that I could not turn my back on the sport which has given me so many happy and proud memories without at least attempting to return to the playing field!
After two operations with lengthy rehab programmes my knee could not sustain the training load necessary to return to club and international football, and with further surgery needed to help me prolong a pain free career as a Physical Education teacher the decision was made with a heavy heart but a realistic head.
I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to travel to numerous countries over the world, played with and against some of the best players in the female game and endured many special moments that will live with me forever. A few of these include; Representing Great Britain Universities in the World University Games twice in 2007 and 2009; being a part of the winning FA Cup Everton squad in 2010 and subsequent Champions league experiences; captaining my country at youth level; being named as the first ambassador the women's game in Wales and lastly and most importantly to me, every single one of my 56 Welsh Senior caps. From my first cap in a muddy and wet Newtown against Moldova to the last cap in an agonising game versus Scotland to clinch a playoff spot, playing for Wales and wearing that special red jersey was an honour every single time and something I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to do.
I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude for the support and guidance I have received throughout my career from my family, friends, fans, people within the football community and the Managers and coaches I was fortunate to have played and learnt so much under; Michelle Adams and Karen Jones (Cardiff City LFC), Gary Green (Bristol Academy), Laura Harvey (Great Britain Universities), Mo Marley and Andy Spence (Everton) and my international managers; Andy Beattie, Adrian Tucker and Jarmo Matikeinen.
I would also like to thank my medical team during my rehab years, who have gone over and above to help me try to return. Those include Ed Richmond, Cardiff City men's physio, American Women's Football's Sports Scientist Dawn Scott who has kept in regular contact by sending new programmes and equipment to aid my rehab. Sean Connelly the Wales Men's Football team physio who has worked tirelessly, before and after work for no fee to ensure I was given the best chance possible to return. Lastly, Rhodri Martin, Sports Doctor, who without him I would never have been so fortunate to have received the medical support and advice I have and I owe a lot to him for his continuous efforts to help me.
As they say, some things happen for a reason and although my highly competitive nature wants to be playing and wearing that red jersey, there will hopefully be more exciting adventures for me within the game in some capacity in the future."
Gwen has been a good friend of everyone at Women's Soccer Scene over the years and we wish her the very best of luck for the future.
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