England women's football team
Wikimedia Commons/ James Boyes from UK

Wiegman announces England World Cup squad

England coach Sarina Wiegman has announced her 23-player squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

The team face a tough task if they are to better England’s best result of third in 2015 or come close to repeating their heroics of last summer’s Euros victory on home turf.

Wiegman has had to contend with a number of injuries to the basis of her European Championship winning team, as well as the retirements of Ellen White and Jill Scott.

Captain Leah Williamson and Euros golden boot winner Beth Mead are both absent as expected, but defender Millie Bright has been included despite not playing since late March.

She will captain the team in Williamson’s absence, with goalkeeper Mary Earps a likely second in line should injury rule her out at any stage.

The head coach has however not called on seasoned campaigner Steph Houghton to fill these gaps. Houghton, who has 121 caps for her country, has not been present at any point in Wiegman’s two years at the FA and made her frustrations about the issue well known.

More surprising in her absence is Manchester United’s Maya Le Tissier, who has performed well this season for her club and was tipped for inclusion.

Wiegman admitted the exclusion of the 21-year-old was a “hard cal” but she remains a standby option should replacements be required.

The competition begins in just under two months’ time, with England’s first match against Haiti on 22 July

Elsewhere, Beth England has been backed to provide the goods in Australia, with the Tottenham forward being recalled to the team.

Where she will fit in Wiegman’s plans for the summer is however unclear, with Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly vying with her for position in the starting XI.

In midfield, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone and Kiera Walsh have all been selected as anticipated. They are also joined by Aston Villa’s Jordan Nobbs, who missed both the 2017 Euros and 2019 World Cup through injury.

Laura Coombs, who recently made her first appearance for England since 2015, adds further depth.

In addition to the pair, Katie Zelem also joins the squad, pipping Jess Park in a more conservative selection.

In defence, Chelsea’s Katie Charles has made the call-up. It is a choice which gives Sarina Wiegman wider options given Daly’s utility in attack and the already extensive injury concerns.

Esme Morgan of Manchester City has also made the squad, with Maz Pacheco and Lucy Parker amongst those missing out.

The competition begins in just under two months’ time, with England’s first match against Haiti on 22 July.

Uncertainties remain over broadcasting rights for the competition, with Fifa pushing for increased offers from European companies.

Stakeholders will hope the issue can be resolved quickly, with the expected outcome that the tournament will air on both the BBC and ITV this summer on improved terms.


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