Sophie Ingle has announced she will be stepping down from her role as Wales captain after nine years of service. 

The Chelsea midfielder says it is the right time to pass the armband along, in a statement released on Sunday. 

Ingle first wore the armband in February 2015, after she replaced Jess Fishlock, Wales’ most capped player.

Since then, she has gained 136 caps for Wales, with 83 of them under the role of captain, and has led Wales through many big tournaments. 

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In 2023, the same year in which she broke the appearance record for the Women’s Super League, the Wales skipper was awarded an OBE for her services to football.

It is yet to be announced who will be undertaking the role of captain.

Manager Rhian Wilkinson says she wants to get to know the players better before making the decision.

Wilkinson was recently appointed the role of the Welsh Manager, as Gemma Grainer stepped down to take charge of Norway.

Hayley Ladd and Angharad James are two stand-out candidates for the role of captain.

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Ingle has stated she has been debating the decision since Christmas. 

She said: “It has not been been an easy decision but focusing on this campaign and these qualifiers and thinking more long-term, I want someone to be in that role for four or five years and to lead, with pride, this group of girls out.

”I will still be around and I will help out as much as I can.”

She added: “I would just tell the next captain to enjoy it.

”Be yourself, you have been picked for a reason.”

Ingle has no intention to retire from international football and will remain in the squad. 

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