An 18-year-old Grŵp Llandrillo Menai sports student is jetting out to Armenia this week, where she will play football for Wales in a crucial UEFA qualification tournament against some of Europe's elite national football teams!
Shannon Dukes from Penrhyndeudraeth, who is a full-time A-level student at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor's Pwllheli campus, has been picked for the Wales Women's U19 Squad which will take on Belgium, Iceland and Armenia in the UEFA Women's U19 qualifying round tournament, hoping to reach the next year's UEFA European Women's U19 Championship finals.
Only months after Spain retained the UEFA European Women's U19 Championship in Switzerland, qualifying will begin next week for the 2019 finals in Scotland. The Wales team will play their three qualifiers between October 2-8.
Shannon plays in the left-back position for Wales' U19 football squad as well as for Everton's Over-16s development side, which is just one level below its first team. The squad also includes ex-Coleg Menai student, Cassia Pike, 17, from Porthmadog, who plays for Liverpool FC Women.
Before flying out, Shannon said:
It's always an honour to be selected for Wales and I'm excited to be going to Armenia with the under 19s. We're hopefully looking to qualify to the next round, but we have got a quite difficult group with games against Belgium and Iceland.
Shannon started out playing for Penrhyndeudraeth Juniors when she was just six years old. Her father and two brothers are also keen footballers. She found that she loved it and had a natural gift playing at left-back. As well as playing for her country, she trains three times a week at Everton, in between studying full-time for her A-levels.
Most of the Wales squad were also part of the U19s' side that reached last year's UEFA Elite Round and will be hoping to build on that success. The top two teams in each the 12 qualifying groups will progress through to the 2019 Elite Round which will take part in April or June next year, where they will be joined by the two highest third place teams out of all the qualifying groups. Seven nations will eventually qualify to join hosts Scotland in July's finals.
To find out more about our courses in Sport, please visit: www.gllm.ac.uk/sport
Or contact the course advice lines on 01492 542 338 for Coleg Llandrillo, 01758 701 385 for Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, and 01248 383 333 for Coleg Menai.