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England manager, Sarina Wiegman, has announced her 23-woman squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Wiegman has had to deal with injuries to several key players in recent times and while some have been deemed fit enough to make the squad, others haven’t.
The most notable players to miss out via injury are Beth Mead, Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby. Williamson is the captain of the team and will be sorely missed, while Mead was named player of the tournament at the European Championships last summer – a tournament the Lionesses famously won.
In more positive news, Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze have both made the squad in what is a huge boost to Wiegman. Both players suffered serious-looking injuries towards the end of the season and were doubts for the squad but they have been deemed fit enough to travel to New Zealand and Australia.
Elsewhere, the formidable duo of Ella Toone and Alessia Russo have made the squad and will more than likely be key player for the Lionesses this summer at the top end of the pitch. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Mary Earps is a certainty to start the tournament in between the sticks for England.
LIONESSES WORLD CUP SQUAD 🦁 pic.twitter.com/eZH5WZmM8R
— Nancy Baker (@NanceBaker) May 31, 2023
Disappointment for Le Tissier
As ever, there are several players who will feel hard done by to miss out on the 23-player squad. One player who will feel that she had done enough to make the squad is Maya Le Tissier who has had a sensational season in defence at Manchester United.
The 21-year-old has featured in both of Wiegman’s previous two squads and was expected to feature once again but she has been placed on the standby list alongside goalkeeper, Emily Ramsey, and fellow defender, Jess Park. Park is another player who many people thought would be in the squad but an injury at the end of the season seems to have hindered her.
All three players on the standby list will train with the full squad before they fly out to Australia and New Zealand later this month. If there are any injuries or illnesses then they will be ready to step in.
Wiegman admits to having a “stressful” week
Despite leading England to their first-ever European Championship win last year, Sabrina Wiegman has admitted that picking squads for major tournaments is still “stressful”. The England boss has had to deal with several injuries, but said she was always aware that Sports Personality of the Year winner, Beth Mead was never likely to make it. She said:
“Beth is so positive and she’s going really well in her recovery. But we were always wary of her time schedule. We would’ve had to take so many risks to try to get her to the World Cup. She also had a personal situation too so that all added up and we decided very early on that we weren’t going to take that risk to push her too much, and then she gets injured again.”
Wiegman also confirmed who would captain the side at the tournament with Leah Williamson absent through injury. She said:
“It’s very disappointing for Leah. It’s very sad but you have to move on, and unfortunately, this is part of top-level sport. In terms of captaincy, we had Leah with the vice-captain as Millie Bright. Mary Earps has done it too so that’s how we will approach it now.”
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