Hege Riise has named her squad that will head to Tokyo to represent Team GB in the upcoming Olympics.
The Norwegian has announced her eighteen player roster made up of players from the home nations. As expected, the Lionesses form the majority of the squad with fifteen of the chosen players hailing from England. Arsenal captain Kim Little and Manchester City midfielder Caroline Weir feature as the only two Scotland internationals, and Chelsea’s Sophie Ingle is the only Welsh player to have been called upon.
Manchester City’s Ellie Roebuck, and OL Reign’s Karen Bardsley, have been selected as the two goalkeepers to go forward. Roebuck has played another impressive with City, keeping a total of thirteen clean sheets across all competitions. After over a year out due to injury, Bardsley joined NWSL side Reign on loan until the end of July in a bid to gather more game time. Bardsley played her first international fixture in over six hundred days in the Lionesses most recent friendly against Canada in April.
Riise has opted for a familiar defensive structure selecting candidates solely from her acquainted English stock. Fullbacks Lucy Bronze and Demi Stokes have made the cut and fellow City teammate and Lionesses skipper Steph Houghton. Houghton has recently recovered from an Achilles injury, yet with her wealth of expertise and calm leadership, the veteran was expected to named.
Arsenal’s progressive defender Leah Williamson and Chelsea’s steadfast Millie Bright take the number of centre backs selected to three. Houston Dash captain Rachel Daly has also been given the nod and is predicted to take on a defensive role despite becoming Houston’s all-time top goal scorer this week.
Riise’s midfield options include Wales captain Sophie Ingle and City staple Keira Walsh, both of whom show great capability in anchoring the middle third. Everton’s Jill Scott offers vast international experience as well as an energetic spirit. Navigational wizard Kim Little and left-footed wonder Caroline Weir finish off a well-rounded midfield.
Upfront, City striker Ellen White leads the line and will likely be flanked by teammate Lauren Hemp on the wing. Chelsea’s record goalscorer and player of the season Fran Kirby has rightly made the squad. The forward has played a remarkable season and will be looking to emulate this success in Tokyo.
Manchester City’s Georgia Stanway will bring some much-needed grit; however, the youngster will likely find herself used all over the pitch due to her notable versatility. Ever-present England forward Nikita Parris has also been selected to add an aggressive attacking spark to the mix.
Team GB has been drawn in Group E and will face hostsJapan, Chile and Canada. Their campaign will kick off against Chile on July 21st, they will play Japan on July 24th and finish the group stage against Canada on July 27th.
Full squad: Karen, Bardsley, Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, Rachel Daly, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Leah Williamson, Sophie Ingle, Kim Little, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh, Caroline Weir, Lauren Hemp, Fran Kirby, Nikita Parris, Georgia Stanway, Ellen White
Reserves: Sandy MacIver, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Niamh Charles, Ella Toone