Lionesses captain and England player Leah Williamson will have her homecoming this week as she captains her side at Stadium MK.
The defender, who is originally from Milton Keynes, will lead her country out in her home town in hope of continuing their unbeaten run under manager Sarina Wiegman.
Williamson returns to the squad for the Arnold Clark Cup after missing out on the final two friendlies of 2022 with a foot injury.
“On a personal note, I’m very happy to be back with the team but I think for everybody it seems like such a long time from November to February anyway, a lot has happened, a lot has changed, for everybody but it is good to come back together and reconnect, the more time we spend together, the stronger we seem to get, which was proven last summer.”
This morning it was revealed by Molly Hudson from the Times that the Lionesses captain would be wearing the ‘OneLove armband’ at the upcoming Arnold Clark Cup games.
When asked about it, Williamson said: “We are never shy in saying what we stand for, we are a squad that stands for inclusivity. We have a number of people who feel strongly on it.
“It’s something we’ve always done and will continue to do.”
During the men’s World Cup in Qatar, the armband was notoriously banned by FIFA. Williamson has continued to wear the armband and stand up against all forms of discrimination despite the controversy in the men’s game.
When asked about wearing the armband at the World Cup in the summer she said she hopes there isn’t a last minute decision higher up on whether an inclusive band will be allowed or not.
With the World Cup approaching, Williamson said what she is looking forward to:
“I think the best thing about last year was how much we learnt about ourselves, we needed to see where we could grow as a team aswell before the tournament, and that’s what I’m excited for this time around.”
The Lionesses travel to Milton Keynes today to take on Korea Republic in the first game of the mini tournament before travelling to Coventry and Bristol to take on Italy and Belgium respectively.
Since 71 will have direct access to the upcoming fixtures as the Lionesses look to win the tournament for a second consecutive campaign.
Photo: Lynne Cameron