England Women’s much-anticipated squad for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup was announced at 11.30 this morning.
The 23-player squad includes:
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Man City), Mary Earps (VfL Wolfsburg), Carly Telford (Chelsea)
Defenders: Gemma Bonner (Manchester City), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Abbie McManus (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Izzy Christiansen (Olympique Lyon), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City)
Attackers: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign FC – On loan at Melbourne City FC), Ellen White (Birmingham City)
Millie Bright and Jade Moore miss out due to injury, while Lauren Hemp and Sandy MacIver will travel with the squad to train and gain experience.
The tournament will kick off at the end of February when England travel to America.
Manager Phil Neville has shown that, through his team selection, he is not willing to tinker with the project he is currently building ahead of the World Cup in the summer.
That has been at the expense of talented players.
No place for Beth England
Bethany England is among those who fell short of the England squad, despite being one of the most in-form players in the Super League right now.
England scored twice at the weekend to help Chelsea knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup. The forward now has 15 goals in all competitions this season.
In the Arsenal post-match interview, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes put England’s lack of an international call-up down to how close the World Cup now is.
She told The Telegraph: “It’s often difficult for a player to break into that when they’ve been building [momentum] in a [league] campaign. I understand if she doesn’t get called up for that reason.”
Sophie Baggaley of Bristol City is also among those who narrowly missed out.
The goalkeeper was just voted the PFA’s Player of the Month for January after helping Bristol win against Birmingham and Yeovil while also getting a point at Manchester City.
The youngster conceded just twice in 270 minutes that month, including getting a clean sheet.
Focus turns to SheBelieves Cup
After making these big calls, Neville and England will now turn all their attention and efforts to the three games coming up in the SheBelieves Cup.
The Lionesses’ scheduled games are:
v Brazil, 27th Feb
v USA, 2nd March
v Japan, 5th March
The manager will be hoping his side can impress against all three sides they come up against.
It will be one of the Lionesses’ biggest tests to date.
Following the SBC, England will have friendlies against Canada, Spain, Denmark and New Zealand in their final run up to the big one: The Women’s World Cup in France.
Written by Courtney Hill (@cjhsport)