Clare Jones has today announced that she has retired from international netball.
The midcourter’s last game for her country was at the 2023 Netball World Cup against the Scottish Thistles, where the win against Scotland secured Jones and the Welsh Feathers a ninth-place finish.
Clare made her Welsh Feathers debut against South Africa in the SPAR South Africa Test Series in 2016 and became Welsh Feather #203. In total, Jones has thirty-two caps for Wales, having participated in major games including the 2023 Netball World Cup, the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, as well as multiple test series.
Talking about her retirement from international netball, Clare Jones said “It is with huge pride and gratitude that I announce my retirement from international netball. There is no feeling like wearing the Feathers dress. Nothing will ever replace the feeling of playing the sport I have loved since the age of 8, but I am grateful to have so much to reflect on and celebrate. The journey I have experienced has been fantastic, and I now feel ready and excited for my next chapter. It’s my time to give back.
I have so many amazing memories on and off the court, netball has allowed me to make friends, experience some great coaches, come up against some fierce competitors and of course, play in front of our army of Welsh Feathers fans. All of them have inspired me, laughed with me, cried with me, and I have learnt something from every one of them.
I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without the support of my friends and family. It has been a sacrifice for them too at times – so every opportunity to wear the dress has never been taken for granted and it is always an honour to represent them. A special recognition to my mother and brother who have lived every moment with me. I could always pick your faces out in a crowd and that always filled me with a sense of calm and confidence. Your unwavering belief in me to achieve my academic and sporting aspirations has continuously motivated me to keep going! As a result, I hope to have been a role model for all athletes who have dual careers.
To my coaches who believed in me both on and off the court, thank you! I feel fortunate to have played for coaches who developed me as a player, inspired me as a person and most importantly, taught me how crucial both leadership and culture are to success. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy the privilege of being under pressure!
To my teammates… We pushed each other all the way! We have seen the Welsh Feathers taken to new heights on the world stage and you have made me the athlete I am today. You were my biggest cheerleaders whilst attempting to complete my PhD alongside representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games, something I will never forget and I truly am thankful for that sisterhood. I have loved pushing each other to the limit and bringing out the best in each other, and long may the ABBA medleys continue!
Finally, perhaps a touch of fate, but I will always be grateful to have received my first cap on Father’s Day, in 2016. A moment that was meant for my late dad and me to celebrate, but it is also a subtle reminder that there is strength in adversity. I dedicate my career to him. He has carried me through the highs, the hurdles and all the life lessons in between. I have been so proud to wear ‘Jones’ on my back and I hope I have made you proud.
Diolch yn fawr Wales Netball, I have loved making my mark on the game. It has been my honour to be your Welsh Feather 203.”
Head of Performance for Wales Netball, Sara Moore said “It is obviously disappointing to see Clare retire from international duties, as she has been a fantastic servant to Wales Netball and the Feathers. I had the pleasure of working with Clare as a Coach from 2018 to 2023 and during this time I witnessed first-hand her drive, commitment, and dedication to her sport and to the Feathers team.
Clare has worked tirelessly on and off the court to achieve her ambitions of representing Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Netball World Cup, and she has been integral to Wales’s success in recent seasons. Clare is a great leader with a tireless work ethic and for those reasons, she will be greatly missed. I wish Clare all the best for the next step in her journey and want to thank her on behalf of Wales Netball and the Welsh Feathers for her contribution and commitment, over the past 8 years.”.
Wales Netball would like to thank Clare for her dedication to the Welsh Feathers. We wish her the best of luck in her career as a Doctor of Psychology.