A 20-year old from Newport has seen her Commonwealth Games dream ignited just hours before the official start in Glasgow, writes Michael Pearlman.
Sophie Clayton, nicknamed ‘The Claytonater’ was left out of the Welsh hockey squad, despite being a successful Wales U18s player.
However, the fourth year dental student at Cardiff University will now get to live her dream in Scotland after an unfortunate injury.
Clayton adds to the Newport contingent just 24-hours after boxer Fred Evans saw his Commonwealth dreams evaporate.
“Sadly I can confirm that a member of our women’s hockey team, Eloise Laity, has had to return home to Wales after picking up an injury in training whilst in preparation for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games,” said Brian Davies, Chef de Mission of Team Wales.
“20 year-old Sophie Clayton will be travelling to Glasgow to join the team as a result and we look forward to welcoming her shortly.
“Everyone at Team Wales wishes Eloise a speedy recovery and no doubt she’ll be back representing her country soon.”
Amanda Partington, Head Coach of the women’s hockey team, said: “We’re bitterly disappointed for Eloise, she’d worked incredibly hard to earn her selection for the team and to pick up an injury at such a late stage is really disappointing for her.
“We wish Eloise well in her recovery and look forward to welcoming Sophie into the squad ready for our first game in Thursday.”
Clayton is no stranger to the full Welsh squad, having featured recently in the team that competed in the Investec London Cup, 9-13 July 2014. She plays her club hockey for Swansea Spartans.