CWMBRAN Celtic Ladies defender Jessica Lee Williams is set to make her international debut at under-19 level next week when Wales kick-off their bid to qualify for the 2017 European Championship.

The 17-year-old, from Oakfield, travels to Macedonia with the Welsh squad this weekend ahead of a four-team mini tournament.

Wales face hosts Macedonia, Ireland and Italy in qualifying round Group 2 with the pool winners guaranteed a place in the elite round.

Ten runners-up across the 11 groups will also progress, while seeds France, England and Germany have received byes to the next phase.

In the elite round, which is played in April, six group winners and the best-placed runners-up will go through to the finals alongside hosts Northern Ireland.

Williams, who is studying Level 3 Sport at Coleg y Cymoedd in Ystrad Mynach, started her football career with Llanyrafon and has also played for the Bristol City academy.

Now a centre-back at Cwmbran Celtic, the teenager could well be on her way to Cardiff City, but for now her focus is on Wales.

Williams, who has played for her country at younger age grades, has trained with the under-19s for the past eight months.

Dad Mark, a former Cwmbran Town and Coed Eva Athletic player, says his daughter has received a lot of positive feedback from the coaches in the national set-up and is looking forward to what lies ahead.

First up for Wales in Skopje next Tuesday are group favourites Italy, then it is Ireland two days later and the hosts three days after that.

“She can’t wait,” said Mark, who is still going strong at 42 as the captain of Girling RFC’s first XV. “She takes it all in her stride and is not worried about it as all the Welsh girls are her friends.

“Jess was a winger when Wales picked her up but with her height, passing and ability to read the game well they put her at centre-half.

“She has been to training camps with the under-19s for a while now and they have high hopes for her which is encouraging.”