WALES defender Loren Dykes says she will do her best to “take it all in” at Rodney Parade on Thursday night when reaching 100 caps for her country.

National team boss Jayne Ludlow confirmed yesterday that the 31-year-old is going to start the friendly against the Czech Republic in Newport (kick-off 7pm).

Dykes becomes the second Welsh player, after teammate Jess Fishlock, to make a century of international appearances – Newport’s Chris Gunter is the men’s record holder with 94.

It was in August 2007 that Dykes, then aged 19, made her senior Wales debut in a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands.

“I never imagined I would reach 100 caps, I would not have believed that,” Bristol City defender Dykes told BBC Sport Wales.

“I am going to try my best to take it all in.

“In football, it is hard to take in these moments because there is always something else to focus on, the next result, the next performance.

“I am going to hopefully look back on the achievement and pinch myself.

“My family and friends will enjoy it and the players will laugh at me as they know I am not very comfortable being in the spotlight.”

Ludlow added: “Any player that amasses that number of caps is somebody that we’re really proud of and somebody we’ve really valued over the years – and we still value.

“She is one of our older players, but we have a crop of older players who are still competing at the top level and doing fantastically well for their clubs, and hopefully will do for us for many years to come.”

She continued: “We played alongside each other for quite a few years. It’s very interesting being in a different position to try and help her be in a position to continue developing as a player.

“She’s one of our fittest players and always looked after herself, and when she was in environments that weren’t professional, it was a big part of her game.”