Lionesses Squad Named For Upcoming Friendlies

All Photos: The FA via Getty Images
Hege Riise has named a 24 player squad for the Lionesses April training camp at St Georges Park, which includes friendly games against France and Canada. This is the final England camp before Olympic selection.
This camp sees the return of goalkeepers Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley. Riise says she wants to see what the two experienced keepers can offer with Olympic selection coming up.
“In February it was important to see all the talented young goalkeepers coming up. This is for Carly and Karen to show their experience coming into camp again. In the Olympics, it will be tight and experience is important.”
While Ellie Roebuck and Sandy MacIver have both been called up to join them Hannah Hampton misses out. She received the news she was not on the Olympics final 35 list shortly before Birmingham City’s game against Everton three weeks ago. Riise has apologised for the way things were handled and says the decision on timing was out of her hands.
[blockquote text=”The timing was not my call. It was not how I wanted it to work. As soon as I found out I called both the coaches `{`Carla Ward and Willie Kirk`}` and Hannah to apologise.” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#dd3333″]
“The timing was not my call. It was not how I wanted it to work. As soon as I found out I called both the coaches [Carla Ward and Willie Kirk] and Hannah to apologise.”
The squad are without captain Steph Houghton due to injury and Nikita Parris after several positive covid results at her club team Lyon. Riise believes this is an opportunity for other players to step up and show they want to be part of the squad.
“Steph has been captain for many years and a major player for a long time. We can’t replace her but it’s an opportunity for a younger player to step up.”
She also added that they hope Parris will be able to join up with the squad later in the camp, after missing out in February due to covid restrictions.
Two uncapped players could make their debuts over the next two games after call ups for Millie Turner and Niamh Charles. This is the first senior call up for Charles, who plays her club football at Chelsea.
Riise is excited to see how she performs: “I see the talent and the physicality that she has shown growing into the game. To see her in our environment was important.
“I saw her raise her level from the Atletico [Madrid] game to the Wolfsburg game. She’s in a good spot now with her club,” she added.
With the majority of the squad coming from Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, Riise has praised the job they are doing in the league and also says playing at Champions League level is helping players easily adapt to the international level.
All Photos: The FA via Getty Images
After the game against Northern Ireland in the February camp Riise is looking forward to the squad test themselves against a higher level opposition this time around.
“These are the teams and the level we will meet in the Olympics so these will be two great games for us.
“We are aiming to have a good performance and to win both games against tier one opponents,” she added.
The squad will travel to the Stade Michel d’Ornano in Caen to face France on Friday 9th April (8:10 pm kick-off), before returning to the UK to play Canada at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke on Tuesday 13th April (7:15 pm kick-off).
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