With just 50 days until the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, Sarina Wiegman has named her 23-player England squad ahead of the trip to Australia. Bethany England returns to the fold, while six players – Esme Morgan, Niamh Charles, Katie Zelem, Laura Coombs, Lauren James and Katie Robinson – will be part of a major tournament for the first time.
England’s U17s progressed to the semi-finals of the European Championships thanks to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Sweden. In front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Tartu Tamme Staadion, Arsenal’s Michelle Agyemang continued her strong scoring form with a brace. Leicester’s Ava Baker added a third to send Mo Marley’s side through to the knockouts with one game to spare.
Legacy – it is a word that is bandied around a lot in sport. A buzzword, one used with increasing frequency around the hosting of major tournaments. Its definition is sometimes uncertain and how you measure it unclear.
However, with the government’s landmark announcement this morning that every girl in England will be given equal access to football and school sport, that meaning is finally clear. This is really what legacy looks like!
If there was any doubt about whether England’s form would dip after a prolonged break, it was swiftly put to bed on Thursday night. A 4-0 victory saw Sarina Wiegman’s side sweep past Korea Republic as they mounted their defence of the Arnold Clark Cup. Korea Republic’s manager, Colin Bell, called the Lionesses “the best team in the world at the moment” as goals from Georgia Stanway, Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo and Lauren James sealed the three points.
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2023 in the world of women’s football. Here’s some highlights to keep an eye on.
There will never be a year quite like 2022. Of that, I am quite certain.
As I sit here reflecting into the early hours of New Year’s Eve, I occasionally have to pinch myself to remember it happened. As with all memories, they fade to the point where they can sometimes feel like a dream. That’s what this year, and this summer in particular, really were…a dream.
Games do not come much bigger than this – the European Champions against the World Champions in front of a sold-out Wembley under the lights. Lionesses’ manager, Sarina Wiegman [SW], and newly-crowned Player of. the Year, Beth Mead [BM] sat down with the media ahead of another major challenge for the England side.
“You never get bored with winning,” stated an elated Sarina Wiegman as her England team maintained their unbeaten run to book a coveted spot at the 2023 FIFA World Cup. A 2-0 victory against a resilient Austrian outfit saw the Lionesses top Group D with a game to spare.
The Lionesses return to competitive action this afternoon for the first time following their European Championship winning summer. With retirements and injuries, Sarina Wiegman has made changes to her squad, with Lauren James, Ebony Salmon and Jordan Nobbs all coming in.
It was a night beyond any England fans’ imaginations. Sitting in the stadium, soaking in the atmosphere after the final whistle, it was hard not be filled with wonder about what we had just witnessed. For Sarina Wiegman and her Lionesses had just produced one of the most stunning performances in the competition to sweep aside a nation that will have been considered one of the strongest.