England manager Phil Neville has named his 23-player squad for this summer’s eagerly anticipated Women’s World Cup, with the Lionesses heading to France as the third highest ranked team in the world and one of the early contenders to lift the trophy.
The announcement was turned into a big social media event on Wednesday morning, with each player being introduced by different famous faces, with David Beckham, Emma Watson, James Corden, Ellie Goulding, Anne-Marie and Raheem Sterling among those involved.
The likes of Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby, Toni Duggan, Ellen White, Karen Carney, Jodie Taylor and Karen Bardsley are among those who were in the England squad that finished third at the last World Cup in 2015.
Veteran midfielder Jill Scott, meanwhile, will be at her fourth World Cup with England after previously being called up in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
But there are also many newer stars who will be competing on the global stage for the first time, including FWA Footballer of the Year Nikita Parris, FA Cup final goalscorer Keira Walsh, 20-year-old starlet Georgia Stanway, and WSL title winner Beth Mead.
The squad is of course missing vice-captain Jordan Nobbs due to injury, while Izzy Christiansen also hasn’t made the cut after ankle surgery in March, but there are no real surprises. Mary Earps got the nod over teenager Ellie Roebuck as third choice goalkeeper, while Euro 2017 top scorer Jodie Taylor was chosen ahead of Orlando Pride’s Chioma Ubogagu.
In total, there are 11 different clubs from five different countries represented in the squad.
England 23-Player Squad for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup:
|Goalkeepers: Carly Telford (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (Man City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg)|
|Defenders: Steph Houghton (Man City), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Demi Stokes (Man City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Man Utd), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Abbie McManus (Man City)|
|Midfielders: Jade Moore (Reading), Keira Walsh (Man City), Jill Scott (Man City), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Man City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham)|
|Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Ellen White (Birmingham), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Man City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Reign FC)|
England will play two final warm up friendlies against Denmark and New Zealand on 25 May and 1 June respectively, before kicking off the World Cup for real against Scotland on 9 June.
The Lionesses will then play further group games against Argentina (14 June) and Japan (19 June), with the hope of finishing top of the Group D standings.
All the games, including the two warm ups, will be broadcast live on BBC television.