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Harding among best of British off to China; FOOTBALL.

CARDIFF City Ladies captain Natasha Harding is in the Great Britain team for the World University Games being held in China next month.

The squad fly out from Heathrow next Wednesday and face Canada, Chinese Taipei and hosts China.

"Our group match against China is being played at a 60,000-seater stadium and is already sold out," said Harding.

"That's going to be a fantastic experience.

"It will be a challenge, but we go in with confidence."

Britain have had a training camp in Warwick and a pre-tournament match against Coventry City Ladies. The result was 2-2 and Harding scored one of the goals for Britain.

Harding, 22, is the only Welsh player in the British Universities squad.

Cardiff City earned promotion to the FA Women's Premier League last season, going up as runners-up to Charlton Athletic.

They join clubs like Sunderland, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Reading at the higher level.

When Harding returns from China, she will join up with the Wales squad for a match in Northern Ireland.

Then comes Cardiff City's Premier League challenge and captain Harding, who has been with the club for five years, says: "It's going to be a big season and we will improve as a squad.

"It's was an honour to captain Cardiff City when they won promotion and we are all looking forward to playing at Premier level."

Great Britain Universities squad: Natalie Haigh (Leeds Metropolitan University), Hayley Sharp (Leeds Metropolitan University), Rachel Lee )Leeds Metropolitan University), Jessica Trimnell (University of Bedford), Sarah Danby (Leeds Metropolitan University), Polly Wardle (University of Bath), Faye Marsh (University of Hertfordshire), Victoria Greenwell (Northumbria University), Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (Loughborough College), Natasha Harding (Uwic), Kim Thomson (University of Stirling), Rhiannon Roberts (Edge Hill University), Sarah McFadden (Northumbria University), Linda Chilton (University of Reading), Elizabeth Edwards (Brighton), Eartha Pond (Edge Hill), Rachel Furness (Northumbria University), Joanna Hutcheson (Stirling University), Khym Ramsay (Stirling university), Kayleigh Sage (University of Bath).

Team coach: Gemma Grainger. Assistant coach: Marc Canham.

CAPTION(S):

* Cardiff Ladies captian Natasha Harding, right, has been selected in the Great Britain squad which will compete at the World University Games in China next month
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 27, 2011
Words:357
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